Billy Bragg apologises to Taylor Swift for saying she ‘sold her soul to Google’

Bragg had claimed that Swift pulled her music from Spotify to sign an exclusive deal with Google

Billy Bragg has apologised for saying that Taylor Swift had “sold her soul” to Google.

Bragg initially had claimed that the real reason Swift pulled her entire back catalogue from Spotify was that she had signed an exclusive deal with Google to help the company launch their own streaming service.

However, a spokesperson for Swift later commented: “Taylor Swift has had absolutely no discussion or agreement of any kind with Google’s new music streaming service.”

Now, writing on Facebook, the singer has issued a statement saying: “I want to apologise to Taylor Swift for accusing her of selling her soul to Google. I have learned that her music will not now be available on the new YouTube Music Key service, which launched this week. This is despite a number of credible sources stating in the last seven days that it would be.”

Bragg adds: “My criticism was based on the fact that Swift’s back catalogue was the central feature of a demonstration of the Music Key services given to journalists in London last week… In response to specific questions about Swift’s music, journalists were assured that her back catalogue would be available on the service, including the free tier.”

“Learning that Google were using Swift to promote Music Key gave me the impression that her music was going to be front and centre of their launch, the implication being that her Spotify boycott was a corporate power play, rather than an attempt by an artist to make the point that music has value.”

The statement concludes: “I now realise that I was mistaken in this assumption and wish to apologise to Ms Swift for questioning her motives. I would like to add that I will be boycotting the first media outlet to use the headline ‘Bragg makes Swift apology’.”

Swift withheld her latest album, ‘1989’, from Spotify when it was released earlier this month and then subsequently decided to remove all of her previous releases from the streaming service.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently stated that Swift is missing out on a potential £3.7m through her stance.
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