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Taylor Swift targets industry sexism and private-equity buyouts


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Taylor Swift won a ‘Woman of the Decade’ award from Billboard overnight, and delivered a speech with blunt criticism for the sexism she’s experienced in her career so far.

“When this decade began I was 20 years old. I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have the slightest reservations about you,” said Swift, according to Billboard. “Whether a male producer or co-writer was the reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label. It wasn’t. People want to explain away a woman’s success in this industry.” Swift offered support for fellow artist Lana Del Rey, who “was ruthlessly criticised early in her career, and then slowly but surely she turned into, in my opinion, the most influential artist in pop”.

Swift also addressed her recent (and ongoing) dispute with former label Big Machine Label Group and the funding raised to buy it by new owner Scooter Braun: “the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it’s real estate, or an app, or a shoe line,” as Swift put it.

Her award was part of Billboard’s wider Women in Music 2019 celebration: you can see its ‘top executives’ list here, with Roc Nation’s Desiree Perez named executive of the year, and an excellent list of other execs profiled.

Stuart Dredge

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