Five musical artists who have regained control

Taylor Swift is no stranger to controversy, and when news broke in 2019 that, as part of a deal to buy her old label, the masters of her first six albums were now owned by musical impresario Scooter Braun. , all eyes were on Taylor to see what she would do next.

There was certainly no love lost between Scooter and Taylor, who accused the record label owner of intimidating her. Soon, music colleagues and fans suggested that Taylor could re-record her first six albums and in an interview, when asked if she was planning on doing so, Taylor replied “absolutely.”

Fast forward to 2021, and the first of those re-recordings has arrived in the form of Fearless (Taylor’s Version). The results are impressive; Not only has Taylor stayed true to the original songs, but her vocals are even similar, despite releasing the original album 13 years ago when she was 18.

The re-recorded album is expected to earn Taylor her seventh UK No.1 album this Friday – the original reached No.5.

Taylor’s situation is perhaps quite unique, she certainly isn’t the first artist to challenge the status quo and take control of her own career or material. We take a look at a few other stars who have decided to do things their own way.


The former child star, who made her No. 2 hit debut in 2004 with Leave (Get Out), JoJo has been embroiled in a long legal battle with her original label Blackground. In the end, in 2015, she signed a new deal with Atlantic and continued to release music, but when it comes to her eponymous debut and follow-up The High Road, JoJo was in a similar predicament as Taylor.

When the albums were pulled from streaming services, JoJo couldn’t wait for fans to hear them – so she decided to re-record them. “If it hadn’t been for my fans very vocal on social media, I wouldn’t have done that, “she told Billboard. It’s stan power for you!”

Jojo reworked both the songs and the cover of his debut in 2004


The deceased icon was known to be very protective of his material, his image and his career. In the midst of a contractual dispute with his label in 1993, Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and became known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince (or “Artist” if you were in a hurry). He changed it in 2000 after all legal matters were settled.

Prince liked to have strict control over how and when his music came out – which is why he fell out with his label in the first place – and he wasn’t a fan of seeing his music exist digitally. Speaking of the effect of the Internet on music, he said, “Personally, I can’t stand digital music. You get sound in chunks. It affects a different place in your brain. feel anything. We are analog people, not digital. ”

For quite a long time, his music was sparsely available for download or streaming services, although he signed up to be on Tidal when Jay-Z relaunched him. Since his death in 2016, more of his music – including unreleased tracks from his infamous Vault – has found its way online. This July will see his unreleased Welcome 2 America, which he recorded in 2010 – and the title song speaks from his take on the shallow nature of social media and corporate monopolies in the music industry.

Spice girls

Mel B, Mel C, Emma, ​​Geri and Victoria were all about Girl Power, and they took it to the next level when they sensational distance from their manager, twice! Original manager Chris Herbert, who helped form the group, was dropped shortly before their success, with the Spice Girls switching to impresario Simon Fuller.

Then, at the height of their success, it was Simon’s turn to be left out, because towards the end of 1997 the Spice Girls chose to go it alone, of sorts, and fend for themselves. Unfortunately, the quinquennium couldn’t “hold on” for too long – in six months Geri had taken control of her own career and left the group to go solo. Check out the Spice Girls’ record history in their archives.

(Rex / Shutterstock)

George michael

There were early signs that George Michael was not to be taken lightly when, during the campaign for his 1990 album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 – his second solo release – he chose not to appear neither on the work nor in the accompanying videos of the song. That’s why we have the iconic Freedom ’90 video, featuring a bevy of models, yes, but it turns out that George wasn’t very happy with his recording deal, and the fact that his label would be able to reject any material that they did not do. do not like.

Cue a long legal battle to get George out of the deal, meaning he didn’t release an album for five years and ultimately the case was against George and he lost. Another label came to the rescue and bought him out of his contract, so George could release Older in 1996, landing two number 1 singles in the process. He also leaned into the label a little bit in the Fastlove video, and it looked like all decks were burnt. But, no, after two albums on Virgin, he returned to Sony on his own terms. Never say never when it comes to getting back together with an ex!

George wasn’t in the video, but he was on set with the models.


Who run the world? Queen B has been in the business since she was a child and has certainly learned more than a thing or two about managing her own career. Things really accelerated when in 2011 she laid off her manager’s services after 21 years. It may not sound very impressive, but her manager at the time was her father, Matthew.

Who runs the Louvre? Bey!

Beyoncé’s next album was recorded in secret, complete with a full set of accompanying videos, and then released by surprise in December 2013 as an Apple exclusive. Since then, Beyoncé has exercised tight control over her entire career: she hardly does face-to-face interviews, and even written interviews are a no-no, she’d rather write an article herself than respond to questions. Questions.

Two subsequent albums, Lemonade (with a short film of the same name) and her team with husband Jay-Z, Everything is Love, also came out without any clue. For the APESH * T video, Beyoncé and Jay even managed to film the lot at the Louvre – with unprecedented access – without anyone beyond their entourage knowing. God knows what she will do next, but you won’t know until she’s ready for you to know it. Beyoncé is pulling the strings. See Beyoncé’s full chart history here.

Article image: Chelsea Lauren / Shutterstock