Monday, May 20, 2024

Taylor Swift’s Real Problem: She Can’t Play New Songs at the AMAs Because of the Grammys. And Now She Can’t Play Old Songs



Let’s look at why Taylor Swift is in such a panic about performing at the American Music Awards.

The owners of her records (not her publishing rights) won’t let her play her old songs on the AMAs. They’ve got a year-long kind of non compete clause that prevents her from re-recording her old hits and putting out an album or whatever, DVD, CD. Unfortunately that year includes the AMAs, her Netflix special, and maybe even her four concert dates for next year.

That’s right. The lack of a real “Lover” tour has a lot to do with this. If she performs “Shake it Off” and “Red” et al everyone at those stadiums will record them. So there’s that.

But more concerning is that Taylor cannot perform the new “Lover” songs on the AMAs. That’s because she’s exclusive to the Grammy Awards on January 26th for those songs. Next week she’ll get a raft of Grammy nominations for the “Lover” album. And then she can’t perform that material anywhere before she goes on the Grammys– and likely wins a bunch, too.

CBS and the Grammys are depending on Swift doing one or two numbers on their show. Grammy performers are cut if they do the AMAs.

So this poses a big problem. If you can’t sing the old songs, and you can’t sing the new ones, what do you sing when you win the Lifetime Achievement Award at the AMAs?

And so Taylor is panicking, with good reason. Borchetta and Braun should just let her do it, and move on. But this is where push has come to shove. And Swift can’t agree to their demands.

This much we know: she’s never ever going to go out with them again!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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