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When this decade began, I was 20 years old, and I had put out my self-titled debut album when I was 16, and then the album that would become my breakthrough album, which was called' Fearless,' and I saw that there was a world of music and experience beyond country music that I was really curious about.
Lately, there's been a new shift that has affected me personally and that I feel is a potentially harmful force in our industry, and as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up, and that is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it is real estate, as if it's an app or a shoe line. This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent.
And let me just say that the definition of the 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, and, of course, he's nice to you. If you're in this room, you have something he needs.
I guess I just think about all the people that weren't believed and the people who haven't been believed, and the people who are afraid to speak up because they think they won't be believed, i just wanted to say I'm sorry to anyone who ever wasn't believed, because I don't know what turn my life would have taken if somebody didn't believe me when I said something had happened to me.
A couple of years ago, someone called me a snake on social media and it caught on. And then a lot of people called me a lot of names on social media. And I went through some really low times for a while because of it, i went through sometimes when I didn’t know if I was gonna get to do this anymore.
When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over insane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying, i was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when we assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom – why should I be polite? I’m told it was most amount of times the word 'ass' has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court.
My advice is that you do not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you, you should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes, 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.
I’m down to get in the studio and work. I don’t discriminate, I don’t have an elitism of music because of like how many Grammys or you know, the amount of ratings you get on an album, i that think everyone loves music whether they love hip-hop, alternative, country, and if I could be involved in giving people any type of energy, advice in the studio, whether you’re Beyonce, whether you’re Taylor Swift, whether you’re Jay Z, whether you’re Beck, whoever, and they can be reciprocal with that, I’d like to be involved with that.
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