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As Taylor Swift’s legal battle to own her masters continues to transform into a partisan issue, an unlikely generational hero with a penchant for rock operas has emerged in support of the songstress: the Who’s Pete Townshend. Speaking with Rolling Stone for a new profile, you better you bet the front man sided with Swift over Scooter Braun in the Big Machine acquisition debacle, saying it’s very unfortunate how the situation has unfolded since the summer. “Watching Taylor Swift go through what she’s putting herself through at the moment is heartbreaking,” he explained. “She doesn’t own the fucking music. She doesn’t own the words. I think she has a financial right to it, but she shouldn’t screw herself up about this stuff.” He added, much more bluntly: “It’s just songs, for fuck’s sake.” (Well, it goes beyond just songs.)

The fawning words for Swift continued in a separate New York Times Magazine interview, where Townshend crowned her an “authentic” rock star along with Adele. “They’ve dared to take on that mantle, and they have to deliver,” he added. “They’ve got to do something spectacular as performers. Not just as recording artists.” Maybe the Rock Hall will agree!

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