Taylor Swift takes aim at Scooter Braun in powerful speech at Billboard awards

Taylor Swift hit out at Scooter Braun as she accepted Billboard's first-ever Woman of the Decade award.

Singer Taylor Swift. Picture: @taylorswift/Twitter.

LONDON – Taylor Swift became the first person to be awarded Billboard's Woman of the Decade on Thursday night, and in her acceptance speech she called for an end to the "toxic male privilege" in the music industry, and took aim at Scooter Braun.

The Lover hitmaker took aim at the music mogul - who she has been embroiled in a feud with lately after he bought Big Machine and the master recordings to her first six albums - during her acceptance speech at the Billboard Women in Music Awards 2019 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on Thursday night, and she also hit out at his supporters.

Swift - who turns 30 years old on Friday - told the crowd: "Lately there's been a new shift that has affected me personally, and as your resident loud person, I feel like I need to bring it up. And that's 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.

"This happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent.

"Scooter [Braun] never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale."

Swift also called out a number of Braun's supporters, saying it is "the definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry to say, 'Well, he's always been nice to me.'

"Of course he's nice to you; if you're in this room, you have something he needs."

Swift claimed the "Swift backlash" blew up after her second album Fearless won a Grammy for Album of the Year and Best Country Album in 2010.

She said: "All of a sudden they weren't sure if I was the one writing the songs, because sometimes I had co-writers in the room. This is what happens to a woman in music if she achieves success beyond people's comfort level.

"Have you ever heard someone say about a male artist, 'I really like his songs, but there's something about him I don't like'? No, that criticism is reserved for us.

"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."

Swift also voiced her support for her pal Lana Del Rey, and praised the 34-year-old singer as one of the "most influential artists in pop".

She added: "It comes down to this: Who lets that scrutiny break them and who keeps making great art?

"I've watched as one of my favourite artists of the decade, Lana Del Rey, was ruthlessly criticised early in her career, and then slowly but surely she turned into, in my opinion, the most influential artist in pop. Her vocal stylings, her lyrics, her aesthetics, they've been repurposed everywhere in music.