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The Carlyle Group: Who is Taylor Swift targeting in her feud over music rights?

Taylor Swift attending the 2019 MTV VMA Awards
Taylor Swift attending the 2019 MTV VMA Awards. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com /Zumapress

The Carlyle Group, an American global investment firm, has been drawn into a feud between Taylor Swift and celebrity manager Scooter Braun and Big Machine record label founder Scott Borchetta.

Taylor Swift appealed to both fans and The Carlyle Group in a post on Twitter last night. In her post, she claims Braun and Borchetta are preventing her from performing her old songs until next year.

She explains that she had been hoping to perform a medley of her old hits at the American Music Awards held later this year, where she is being honored with an Artist of the Decade Award.

Swift also argues they are preventing her from performing her songs for an upcoming Netflix documentary on her life.

Swift has appealed to The Carlyle Group because of the funds they provided to Braun and Borchetta. Braun bought the record label Big Machine earlier in the year, which holds ownership of six of Swift’s previous albums.

Borchetta (founder of Big Machine) said he offered Swift control of her music in exchange for a record deal, but she chose to walk away from the record label, joining Universal Music Group Inc instead.

Who are The Carlyle Group?

The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s biggest investment firms, managing around $212 billion of assets, and was founded back in 1987 in Washington, DC.

It is not just concerned with the music industry, and has investments in 10 core industries across six continents: Aerospace, Defense and Government Services; Consumer and retail; Energy and Power; Financial Services; Healthcare; Industrial; Real Estate; Transportation; Technology and business services; and Telecoms and media.

Companies it has invested in include Getty Images, Dunkin’ Brands — the owners of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins — and Hertz. A full list of their investments is provided on their website.

One of the principal founders and co-CEO, David Rubinstein, said in an interview that the group is interested in improving the wealth of all members of society, not just the top earners.

Not without some criticism, a 2003 article in The Economist accused them of being too secretive and of giving capitalism a bad name. The group was also the subject of several allegations made by filmmaker Michael Moore in his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

Chief Executive Officers Kewsong Lee and Glenn Youngkin state on the group’s website that “Our purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of an array of global investors, many of whom are public pensioners. We work for our investors.”

There has been no comment from The Carlyle Group regarding the feud at the time of posting.


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