According to Pitchfork, country-pop icon Taylor Swift has released a new, re-recorded version of her 2008 record, Fearless. The supposed reason for the release dates back to a 2019 incident with her label at the time, Big Machine. Scooter Braun reportedly purchased the label, making him the owner of the master recordings of her first six records. The artist released a statement on Tumblr, accusing Braun with allegations of “incessant, manipulative bullying.” Swift announced the re-recording in February of this year.
Swift has released several re-recorded versions of songs from Fearless, including the title track, “You Belong With Me,” “Fifteen” and more. The tracks are listed as being “Taylor’s Version.” Aside from her more matured vocals and slight production differences, the new versions of the songs hold true to the originals.
Listen to “Fearless” here:
At the 2021 Grammy Awards, Swift won the Album of the Year Award for her 2020 album Folklore, which featured collaborations with members of Bon Iver and The National, making her the first woman ever to win three Album of the Year Awards. The pop star won past awards for her albums Fearless and 1989.
In June of 2020, Swift showed her support for the removal of confederate statues in her home state of Tennessee, saying on Twitter, “As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things.”
She went on to say, “Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe – not just the white ones.”
Listen to “You Belong With Me” here:
Controversy arose once again in November of 2020, when Braun reportedly sold Swift’s master recordings to a private equity company for $300 million. Swift alleged that Braun “would never even quote my team a price.” Going on to say, “These master recordings were not for sale to me.”
The artist expressed frustration on Twitter, alleging that due to Braun and CEO of Big Machine, Scott Borchetta, she was not allowed to perform her own music at the American Music Awards. She shared, “Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans.” The artist eventually came to an agreement with the record label, allowing her to perform her songs.