Kelly Clarkson Says Reba McEntire Gave Her the Idea for Taylor Swift to Re-Record Her Songs
This summer, Kelly Clarkson suggested that Taylor Swift re-record her songs as a way to own her masters following the drama with Scooter Braun, the celebrity manager who recently purchased Swift’s music catalog. Now, during an appearance on a special Sunday edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the original American Idol opened up about her suggestion, and admitted where she got the idea in the first place — from her famous former mother-in-law!
“I wasn’t really trying to defend or offend anyone,” Clarkson told the host. “It was more like, Reba [McEntire] told me she did that. That was it. That was all… She wanted to own her masters. And I was like, ‘Well if it’s that important to you, like, find a way.’ And she recut all of her music and did it with the same musicians, the same everything. That’s where I got the idea.”
“Taylor is [an] artist, like she’s been writing since she was a little girl. So it’s kind of like her diary, so I get why she’d wanna [own her music],” Clarkson, 37, added. “I don’t really care about owning my masters or not. I’m just like, ‘Whatever, I’m going to sing them until I’m dead, it’s fine.’ Somebody can make money off of it, I don’t care. But hers is [different]. Like, I own half or a little more than half my stuff. And hers is 100 percent of it. So I can see how it would matter to her.”
In July, just after Braun purchased Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, for $300 million, Clarkson tweeted at her fellow singer.
“@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,” Clarkson said at the time.
The Idol alum added that she’d be the first to purchase the songs if Swift decided to do so. “I’d buy all the new versions just to prove a point 💁🏼♀️,” she wrote.
After Swift claimed she learned of the Big Machine sale along with the rest of the world and accused the manager of “manipulative bullying” over the years via a Tumblr post, it’s been a game of he-said, she-said between the singer, Braun and Big Machine co-founder Scott Borchetta, 57, who first signed the singer when she was a teen to his then-fledgling label.
In July, Swift, 29, doubled down on accusations she made via her post that she “wasn’t given an opportunity to buy” her “life’s work.”
“Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” her lawyer Donald Passman told PEOPLE in a statement.
A source previously told Variety that Swift had to sign a deal that would bind her to Big Machine or its new owner for another 10 years in order to buy her masters or the label.
Neither Swift nor Borchetta have commented further about their failed contract negotiations — including the specifics of any offers that were made from either side.
However, hours after Swift said she was “grossed out” by Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Label Group and her catalog, Borchetta did respond with his own lengthy statement on the label’s website, essentially accusing Swift of bending the truth.
In his letter, Borchetta claimed the deal he offered Swift gave her “100% of all Taylor Swift assets … to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement.”
He also denied having any knowledge of bullying by Braun. “As to her comments about ‘being in tears or close to it’ anytime my new partner Scooter Braun’s name was brought up, I certainly never experienced that,” he wrote. “Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor.”
“We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time,” he added.
In her Tumblr post, Swift said the deal she was offered involved earning one album back for each “new one I turned in.”
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” she added. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”
Swift, whose new album Lover hit shelves Aug. 23, said learning that it was Braun who had ultimately purchased her masters from Borchetta was her “worst nightmare.”
Hours after Lover was released, the 38-year-old manager posted a message on Twitter, calling the album “brilliant” and congratulating the pop star. “Regardless of what has been said the truth is you don’t make big bets unless you are a believer and always have been,” he wrote.
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