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Taylor Swift: get to know the singer and her main controversies

After 11 years without setting foot on Brazilian soil, Taylor Swift is back. She arrives with the tour “The Eras Tour”, which pays homage to her 17-year career. The first show in Brazil will be this Friday (17).

The singer will perform in Rio de Janeiro on November 17th, 18th and 19th. Next weekend she will go to São Paulo, with performances on the 24th, 25th and 26th of November.

In the almost two decades that she has been in the music industry, the artist has already been canceled by the internet, was sued by a harasser and lost the copyrights to six albums. Check out Taylor Swift’s most controversial moments:

Kanye West’s interruption at the 2009 VMAs

At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the “Best Female Video” category had artists Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and P!nk nominated.

It was Swift’s “You Belong With Me” video that won. It was there that one of the most popular episodes on social media occurred. Taylor took the category, which didn’t please rapper Kanye West, known as Ye.

When it was time to give her acceptance speech, Taylor, who was 19 years old at the time, was interrupted by Kanye. He walked up to the stage, took the microphone from her hand and said, “I’m going to let you finish, but… I’m happy for you, but Beyoncé made one of the best videos of all time.”

The singer was unable to finish her speech and cried backstage, according to Van Toffler, who was the producer of the award, told Billboard in 2019. According to the producer, she even wanted to leave the award, but they managed to convince her to stay giving the understand that she would win the main prize of the night, “Video of the Year”, and that she could let Taylor finish the speech in her place.

When “Single Ladies” won the category, Beyoncé asked Taylor Swift to come on stage with her and finish her speech.

Fight with Ye and Kim Kardashian

In 2015, six years after the VMAs, Taylor Swift and Ye appeared to be on good terms. This year, she presented him with the Video Vanguard Award statuette in another edition of the awards. On social media, Swift even published a photo thanking him for the flowers he had sent.

Until, in February 2016, the singer released a song called “Famous”, whose lyrics said: “I feel like Taylor and I are still going to have sex. Why? I made this bitch famous.”

At the time, he tweeted saying that the singer approved the lyrics before release. In response, Taylor’s team denied the claim to Billboard, saying that, in fact, the singer had asked to promote his music on Twitter, formerly the singer’s “X”.

The statement said she refused and warned him about the misogyny in the lyrics, and that she didn’t know about the part that said “I made this bitch famous.” In June, Kim Kardashian, who was married to the rapper at the time, told GQ that the singer knew the lyrics to the song and claimed that Taylor Swift was playing the victim.

The video for “Famous” was finally released in June and brought a new controversy. Ye and Kim Kardashian appear naked in bed with the wax bodies of naked celebrities, such as the former president of the United States, Donald Trump. A replica of Taylor Swift was also placed, as well as Kanye West’s logo.


On July 18th, Kim Kardashian celebrates on social media saying that it is officially “Snake Day”. On Snapchat, she posted videos of a secretly recorded conversation between Taylor and Kanye, in which the singer agrees with him using her name in the song. Taylor then used her networks to question where in the video the rapper said he would call her a “bitch” in the song.

“I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me, but he never did,” he wrote.

In response to the cancellation she suffered at the time caused by the fight with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, the singer’s next album was “Reputation”, released in 2017. In the new work, she embraces the snake persona they gave her and expresses what felt the reaction of people on the internet.

In March 2020, the unedited video of a conversation between Taylor Swift and Kanye West about the song “Famous” was leaked onto the internet. The videos published by Kim Kardashian were just excerpts. Ultimately, the video shows her authorizing the lyrics “I feel like me and Taylor are going to have sex,” but never hearing the “I made this bitch famous” part, as she had previously stated.

In response to the leak, Kim Kardashian defended herself on her social media saying that it was never about the word “bitch”, but about whether or not there had been a connection and the tone of the conversation. She also defended the fact that Kanye recorded the conversation without Taylor’s consent:

“As an artist, Kanye has every right to document his musical journey and process, just as she did in her documentary,” he said referring to “Miss Americana”, a series about Taylor Swift made by the Netflix streaming service.

Harassment lawsuit

In 2013, a radio host named David Mueller lost his job after harassing Taylor Swift at a meet and greet in Denver, USA. “When we were posing for the photo, he reached down my dress and grabbed my butt. I squirmed and staggered to the side to get away from him, but he wouldn’t let me go,” he told TIME magazine in 2017.

Immediately after the photo, the singer’s security team was informed and confronted him. They also reported the episode to the KYGO radio station where the host worked, and he was fired.

In 2015, Mueller decided to sue the singer for defamation, claiming that she lost her job and potential business opportunities because of the allegations. The suit asked for $3 million in damages.

In the Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana”, she says that seven people saw him harass her, in addition to there being a photo as proof of the moment, which was later published by the website TMZ. In response, she sued him for the symbolic amount of $1.

In 2017, the judge dismissed Mueller’s defamation lawsuit saying that Taylor Swift did not act inappropriately when contacting the radio station to talk about the harassment case. He was also found guilty in the singer’s case against him.

“You don’t feel any sense of victory when you win, because the process is so dehumanizing,” she said in the “Miss Americana” documentary. “This with seven witnesses and a photo. What happens when you’re raped and it’s your word against his?”

The fight over the rights to their albums

In October of this year, Taylor Swift fans celebrated with the singer’s version of the album 1989. This is because she herself did not own the copyright to that album.

The singer worked for the Big Machine Records label, but broke with them in 2018. However, the rights to the works belong to the label, which also owns the phonograms, which are the actual recordings of a song – the file that will be played in streaming, CDs, vinyl records, films and series. Therefore, all of her work was in the possession of the studio.

When Ithaca Holdings purchased Big Machine Records in 2019, it took Taylor Swift’s archives of material with it. The businessman behind it was Scooter Braun, and that’s what bothered the artist so much. “All I could think about was the incessant and manipulative bullying I received from him for years. […] Now Scooter has stripped me of a life of work, which I didn’t have the opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to be in the hands of someone who tried to ruin it,” he wrote in a 2019 Tumblr post.

After what happened, the singer tried to buy her catalog again, but without success. In November 2020, when her works were sold to investment fund Shamrock Holdings for R$300 million, she said on Twitter that she had been trying to recover her work, but without success.

According to the singer, before any negotiation, the Scooter Braun team wanted her to sign a confidential clause stating that she would never again say a word about him that wasn’t positive. “So I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even get the offer on my own work,” she said.

Nowadays, Taylor is signed to Republic Records, Universal Music’s label. Since April 2021, Taylor Swift has started re-recording her albums to try to recover copyrights.

To date, she has released re-recordings of the albums “Fearless”, “Speak Now”, “Red” and “1989”. Now, only the albums “Taylor Swift” and “Reputation” are missing.

Source: CNN Brasil

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