Women Like Taylor Swift Being Forced To Re-Record Music Isn’t Something To Celebrate

As Taylor Swift's album ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)' drops to huge excitement, it has highlighted where the power really lies in the music industry.

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by Aaliyah Harry |

Today Taylor swift re-released her highly anticipated album Red, this time titled Red (Taylor’s Version.) However, while fans are excited for Taylor’s new music, it is a double-edged sword as there is also a lingering sadness watching the unfortunate fate of yet another female artist being forced to fight for what's hers.

Swifties have gone into meltdown over the re-release of her chart-topping album Red which features re-worked smash-hit’s such as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘22’. As part of the re-release, she has also featured nine never released songs written during the same era as the original album. Within these new songs is ‘All Too Well’ – which is set to be released as a 10-minute short film directed by Swift later today – and has been dubbed by the internet as the ultimate ‘anti-gaslighting anthem.’

However, Taylor was only driven to re-release this album – and her 2008 album Fearless - as part of an effort to regain control of her master tapes.Swift was previously embroiled in a nasty battle over the masters of her music with her ex-label Big Machine Records and ex-manager Scooter Braun from 2019. In a nutshell, Taylor left Big Machine Records (where she recorded her first six albums), then Scooter Braun owned them, which meant he was in control of most of her work. In November 2020, Scooter sold the master rights to Taylor’s first six albums in a deal worth $300 million. Taylor revealed in a statement that she had no say in this deal, which had come as a massive blow as she was also trying to buy them back.

Similarly, singer-songwriter JoJo entered the music scene at the tender age of 13 with her massive hit ‘Leave, Get Out'. For many years controversy swirled around JoJo’s self-titled debut album and second album 'The High Road' because these albums were held back from streaming services by Blackground Record label. This record label was run by Barry Hankerson - they also owned the music of star Aaliyah and Toni Braxton.

[JoJo was very open with her fans about the label holding her hostage ](https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8493194/jojo-interview-new-versions-the-high-road-old-albums/)andand){:target=_blank :rel=noopener noreferrer}ums/)and refusing to let her release any new music. As a result, JoJo also re-recorded her albums featuring songs from her first two albums. Thankfully JoJo was eventually released from the label and signed a deal with Atlantic - she eventually started releasing albums again.

Pop singer Keeha’s fight was slightly different, and even more heart-breaking. She fought for years to be released from the clutches of producer Dr Luke, who she alleges sexually assaulted her, preventing her from releasing music outside of her deals with him. It resulted in the viral #FreeKesha movement in 2014. At the movement's height Taylor Swift said she would donate $250,000 to support the singer, which was years before her own music battle began. Yet Kesha's legal battles are ongoing.

While it is deeply sad that these women have had to re-record hugely successful album in order to get the rights they deserve, there is also power in watching them regain control of their music from men. These re-records shine a bright spotlight on the music industry and where the power lies within it. We are watching an industry that is still unbalanced, leaving women to bare the brunt of these unbalanced scales.

READ MORE: A Definitive Ranking Of Every Taylor Swift Single Ever

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