Taylor Swift
photo: Splash News

Taylor Swift has had one of the most difficult years of her career, but is standing strong and speaking out for what she believes in. 

After more than a decade in the music industry, Billboard's Woman of the Decade has seen the best and worst sides of the entertainment biz. In her acceptance speech, Swift dragged Scooter Braun for buying her entire music catalog with little to no remorse and spoke out about the difficulties women face behind-the-scenes in music. 

There was some positivity as she accepted her award, though. Swift praised rising female artists, especially Billie Eilish.

Taylor Swift's entire 15-minute speech was filled with all of the tea. 

Swift made poignant remarks about being a woman in the music industry. Specifically, she addressed her very public drama with her record label.

"What does it mean to be the woman of this decade? Well, it means I've seen a lot. I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have slight reservations about you –– whether you deserve to be there, whether your male producer or co-writer is the reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label. It wasn't. I saw that people love to explain away a woman's success in the music industry," she said. 

Then, she took down Scooter Braun specifically, who has been supported by some of Swift's former friends, like ex-bestie Karlie Kloss. 

Swift said, "Of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale, or even when it was announced. I'm fairly certain he knew how I would feel about it. And let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, 'But he's always been nice to me!' when I'm raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music. Of course, he's nice to you. If you're in this room, you have something he needs."

Swift got candid in her interview with Billboard magazine, talking about being there for new artists and who was there for her when she began. 

Apparently, Swift is the go-to when it comes to dealing with negative stories in the press, most likely because there have been so many controversies in her decade-long career. "That’s why I get so many phone calls from new artists out of the blue — like, 'Hey, I’m getting my first wave of bad press. I’m freaking out. Can I talk to you?' And the answer is always yes!" Swift said. 

While there weren't as many role models to look up to when she began, Swift credits Faith Hill with being there for her as a beginning artist. "I had so many mentors in country music. Faith Hill was wonderful. She would reach out to me and invite me over and take me on tour, and I knew that I could talk to her."

One day Swift could open her own record label, but she wants to pour all of her energy into it. 

"The Man" from her album Lover means way more after the Big Machine Record Label scandal. Swift hasn't been shy about her anger and betrayal from the move. The singer shared a photo from her Billboard photo shoot and wrote, "When you’re pretttttty sure that if you were a man, you’d be the man."

In her interview, Swift shared that working in the business end is interesting to her, but not in the near future. "I do think about it every once in a while, but if I was going to do it, I would need to do it with all of my energy. I know how important that is, when you’ve got someone else’s career in your hands, and I know how it feels when someone isn’t generous."

In 2014, Swift accepted the award for Woman of the Year, and had commentary on the structure of streaming and unfair compensation to artists. 

One moment in Swift's speech aged impeccably well. "Somewhere right now your future Woman of the Year is probably sitting in a piano lesson or in a girl's choir, and today, right now, we need to take care of her." Little did she know that in five years time, that prophecy would come to light. Billie Eilish, who is 17, won that honor in 2019. 

Naturally, Swift shared her support for the young artist and to other up-and-coming talent. In her 2019 speech, Swift named Lizzo, King Princess, Normani, Rosalia, Becky G, and more as some of her inspirations for the future. 

Billie Eilish thanked Taylor Swift in her speech this year for "taking care of [her]."

Eilish and Swift posed for some sweet photos together after their speeches. Eilish joked that the rest of the winners had way-too-long speeches, so she kept hers short and sweet. The 17-year-old thanked her family, team, and Swift for paving the way.