“I feel like I’m in court.”
Kelly Clarkson appeared on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy on June 22, where host Andy Cohen asked Clarkson to recount the Summer 2019 tweet that put her in the middle of one of the music industry’s biggest feuds.
“You tweeted to Taylor Swift that she should re-record some of her songs when Scooter [Braun, music executive] bought the catalog,” Cohen began, with Clarkson jumping in to add, “I think Scooter took offense to it because we ran into each other. I think he reached out at the time to my management, I was like ‘It wasn’t anything against him’. When she came out and said that and I heard about it, I was like ‘Whatever! Re-record them, your fans will support you.’ Uh, they did.”
What Advice Did Kelly Clarkson Share With Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun’s feud began in June 2019 after Braun purchased Swift’s former label, Big Machine, which came with the master copies of her first six studio albums, for $300 million. Swift was very hurt by this sale, as she and Braun have not had a good relationship prior to this, and she felt that the label’s former CEO Scott Borchetta knew this going into the sale.
“When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter,” Swift wrote in a June 2019 Tumblr post, “Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
It was in July 2019, weeks after Swift’s public Tumblr post, that Clarkson decided to share her two cents on the matter, tweeting, “@taylorswift13 just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions. I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point 💁🏼♀️”, which is exactly what Swift did.
Did Taylor Swift Thank Kelly Clarkson for the Idea to Re-Record Her Music?
Swift announced weeks after Clarkson’s tweet that she would be re-recording at least her first five albums as soon as she was contractually able in 2020. So far, she has released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” in April 2021 and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in November 2021, with plans to release “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” on July 7, 2023. Each “Taylor’s Version” album has come with new, previously unreleased songs from their respective time in Swift’s career.
Clarkson explained in her interview with Cohen that she never meant to attack Braun, and in fact, didn’t even know that he was the one who owned Swift’s albums. “I didn’t even know all the information. All I heard was ‘Man, I really want to own-‘ and she writes everything, it’s so important to her, she’s a businesswoman, it felt wrong that she didn’t have the opportunity. […] To not have the opportunity to own something that is really important to you.”
Cohen asked if Swift thanked Clarkson for the re-recording idea, and Clarkson said, “No. I think she’s brilliant, she would have come up with that on her own, and she maybe already had before I tweeted it.”