Grammy Pre-Telecast Winners

Here are the winners in the country and country-related categories from the pre-telecast:

Best Country Song: Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, “White Horse”

Best Country Instrumental Performance: Steve Wariner, “Pr

oducer’s Medley”

Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis, “I Told You So”

Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You”

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Taylor Swift, “White Horse”

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”

Best Contemporary Folk Album: Steve Earle, Townes

Best Bluegrass Album: Steve Martin, The Crow/New Songs for the Five-String Banjo

Best Americana Album: Levon Helm, Electric Dirt

Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album: Jason Crabb, Jason Crabb


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110 Comments

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110 Responses to Grammy Pre-Telecast Winners

  1. JoJoNo Gravatar

    Carrie definitely deserved award for Just A Dream..glad she at least won for collaboration

  2. Well these results are pretty disappointing.

  3. KNo Gravatar

    What a joke! Money talks I guess. Oh well, at least Carrie was asked to pay tribute to one of the biggest musical legends of all time, and perform at the Super Bowl. If Taylor is ever sought out liike that for vocal talent, then we’ll really have a problem.

  4. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    excellent news for taylor. and for people who love country music. here’s hoping for a swift-sweep tonight.

  5. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I heard Taylor is singing “Today Was A Fairytale” tonight, so I am sure that is foreshadowing that she will win pretty much everything.

  6. JoJoNo Gravatar

    What I am most looking forward to is the Michael Jackson tribute. I watched the rehearsal of it on youtube. Carrie, Usher, Jennifer, Celine, and Smokey all sound great!!

  7. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    I like the results thus far. Anyone know if CU will be live-blogging?

  8. TomNo Gravatar

    …i’d pay just to see maureen mccole’s face tonight. somehow, i feel like i should have posted this one on the lee ann womack “there is a god” review-thread.

  9. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Live-blogging was the plan, but we won’t have anyone available full-time to do it this year. But we’ll be doing a post on the show tomorrow, and of course everyone is welcome to post reactions and such on this post or the previous one with our picks/predictions.

  10. CJNo Gravatar

    “Cutting the Treacle says:
    excellent news for taylor. and for people who love country music. here’s hoping for a swift-sweep tonight.”

    I do hope you’re not serious???

  11. So the only country category to get on the air will be the Album of the Year, which will go to Fearless. Way to treat one of the few musical genres that’s actually been doing well, sales-wise.

  12. I only made predictions for 5 of these categories, but I am proud to say I’ve called 3 of them correctly. Now if Taylor wins the Best Country Album race, I will have half of them right, which would make my best track record for an awards show so far.

    And I’m with Sam … wish more of these were on-air awards. I can’t believe the Best Country Song of the year doesn’t merit any TV time. Best Male and Female Vocal in the country field should be on the telecast too. The Grammy’s treat us wrong. Somebody ought to write a song about it.

  13. JasonNo Gravatar

    Alison Krauss picked up Grammy #27 for her involvement with the Yo-YO Ma album “Songs of Joy and Peace” for best Classical Crossover.

  14. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I think that’s a wrap for the country awards. Interesting and not entirely surprising. But we shall see how Swift fares the rest of the night.

  15. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    CJ – I’m utterly serious. I sense a weird undercurrent of sexism in this anti-Taylor business. She’s a good girl and a hell of a songwriter. And if free passes are given to Dylan, Petty and Kristofferson, I’m happy to give one to Swift.

  16. KNo Gravatar

    ZZB= Best new artist. Surprised, but happy for them! It seemed like no one knew who they were though- there were awarkward pauses instead of cheers from the audience.

  17. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Treacle,
    If Swift’s songs were nearly as good as Dylan’s or Kristofferson’s, I’d see your point. I’m not saying that everything they’ve written has been gold, but I haven’t heard a song of Swift’s that has matched their best stuff yet. You don’t have to believe me, but I don’t tend to be sexist, but I think there’s quite a difference between Dylan/Kristofferson and Taylor Swift just now.

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    That’s cool about Zac Brown Band!

  19. JonNo Gravatar

    Well, two major awards and no Taylor. I think she’s done for the night.

  20. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I do agree that Taylor has shown herself to be a good person though, a good person who writes catchy songs and has a very charming personality. She’s just not who should be representing country music to the world.

  21. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I am just loving this ZBB performance!

  22. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I am officially a ZBB fan now.

  23. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    That was freaking sweet. It makes me so proud to see country represented at the Grammys like that.

  24. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Holy cow, Taylor is doing the Butch Walker version of “You Belong With Me”! That’s really cool.

  25. JonNo Gravatar

    And THAT is who should represent country music?! What an embarrassment! Stevie Nicks looked embarrassed to be singing those lyrics!

  26. JonNo Gravatar

    Country music, your Female Vocalist of the Year! Be loud and be proud!

  27. KNo Gravatar

    “I do agree that Taylor has shown herself to be a good person though, a good person who writes catchy songs and has a very charming personality. She’s just not who should be representing country music to the world.”

    100% agree. Any current country artist or band would be better than Swift. She doesn’t have the vocals, and her songs are teenybopper. It makes me sad that she is the poster child for the genre right now, just because she has the fanbase and crossover appeal. It seems like artists have to sell themselves out and change what was loved about their music in order to get any attention outside of the genere. Sad, Taylor does not make everyone in the country community proud.

  28. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    I agree with K. Excellent to see Taylor take the big award.

  29. highwayman3No Gravatar

    I cant decide if this is as bad as Taylors CMA entertainer of the year win or not. I’m still in sock, Album of the Year is a huge award. The biggest in all of music, like the best picture at the Oscars. As a fan of music, I feel bad for the other nominees having to lose to that and all the gifted singers who can wow an audience with their voice and craft an album of substance.

  30. I liked that arrangement of “You Belong With Me” much, much more than the recorded version. But to paraphrase the great country band, Calexico, not even Stevie Nicks could save that performance.

  31. VanceNo Gravatar

    “Cutting the Treacle says:
    excellent news for taylor. and for people who love country music. here’s hoping for a swift-sweep tonight.”

    You and other Swift-tards should get out of the genre as you have no clue what you’re talking about/

  32. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Manners, yo.

    I didn’t catch most of the telecast, but I’m fairly happy with how the wins shook out. I didn’t want Swift to sweep by any means, but I did think she deserved Album. I just wish she could have left Country Song for Jamey Johnson and that Female Vocal had been a stronger category in the first place.

  33. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    “Solitary Thinkin'” and “Just a Dream” are, to me, two of the strongest country songs in their respective years. I wouldn’t say Swift beat out weak competition.

    And ditto on the manners. Rudeness disguised as humor is not cool.

  34. KNo Gravatar

    Cutting the Treacle says:

    Again, please read my posts before you comment. I don’t think TS was deserving of the award, but what’s done is done. Now all I’m gonna do is pray that TS award show dominace is over, and we can get back to the real VOCAL talents of music.

  35. AaronNo Gravatar

    I wasn’t shocked, just disappointed, that Taylor beat Carrie in the country female vocal race since Carrie’s vocal on Just a Dream was MILES better than Taylor’s but I was shocked she took the all-genre album home. I agree with K in hoping Taylor’s awards run is over…but there’s still the ACM’s where I’m sure she’ll sweep whatever she’s nominated for.

    But I’m super happy Lady A is a Grammy award winner now!!! They deserved it with “I Run to You” and I thought their performance was awesome!! And I’m glad Carrie walked away with one of her nominations…her and Randy Travis deserved it! In my opinion she’s still a Grammy darling…even if she lost Female Vocal this year. I’m sure she’ll get it next year with “Temporary Home.”

  36. JonNo Gravatar

    I’m sure she’ll get it next year with “Temporary Home.”

    That’ll be hard to do if Miranda, which she likely will, submits The House That Built Me.

    But then, with our luck, Swift will probably win it with Today Was a Nightmare..Erm, Fairytale.

  37. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Vance – “You and other Swift-tards should get out of the genre as you have no clue what you’re talking about”

    Me: Put all your hate on me, Trib. I’m a horse. I can take it.

  38. GAILNo Gravatar

    I’m sorry, but I was so embarrassed when Taylor was singing and them out came one of my favorites to sing with her, I wanted to cry. I was like, Stevie, what were you thinking?? The world has done a bad thing letting Taylor Swift think she can really sing and perform! I wanted to crawl in a hole…wonder if that was what Stevie was thinking?? Taylor first ruined Stevie’s song, then she masacred her own song! Please tell me this charade isn’t going to keep going on!

  39. bgirlNo Gravatar

    Leeann Ward says: ” She’s just not who should be representing country music to the world.”

    amen!

    tonight was perhaps the most cringeworthy of all her TV prformaces (to date). it delegated her CMA opening performance to number 2.

  40. TomNo Gravatar

    …as much as i appreciate leeann’s views in general – here, she’s completely wrong. taylor swift represents country music in the best possible way. she’s a fresh wind for a genre that is wrongly associated with being only something for hillbillies, rednecks or weirdoes of some kind.

    currently, we experience country music going through a major rejuvenating period, again. taylor swift, carrie underwood, brad paisley, dierks bentley and quite a few others are bringing in new influences and keep the music interesting to a new and younger audience as well as the more seasoned fans, who have been able to keep an open mind.

    at the same time, some of the veterans surprise with beautiful projects like coal, van lear rose, rising sand or the outstanding mountain soul records, not to mention johnny cash’s american recordings. slightly outside the spotlight, there’s a lot more good music than i have money to spend on. a fact, that quite a few of these recently published lists made me (painfully) aware of.

    everybody’s entitled to his/her own opinion about ms. swift but to me it almost seems that jesus could have been cruzified because he had a slightly funny voice and accent leading some people to believe that he’s wasn’t country enough.

    finally, who’d be more “deserving” to represent today’s country music if not a young woman, who can put quite a few of these awkward moments that everybody goes through – one way or another – when growing up, into quite meaningful songs with catchy melodies?

  41. VanceNo Gravatar

    …as much as i appreciate leeann’s views in general – here, she’s completely wrong. taylor swift represents country music in the best possible way. she’s a fresh wind for a genre that is wrongly associated with being only something for hillbillies, rednecks or weirdoes of some kind.

    ——————
    You are the one who is completely wrong. Absolute fact. Popmongers like you should go and meddle elsewhere. Artists like George Strait, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood are country artists while little Miss Swift’s work has nothing to do with country music at all.

  42. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    When I say she isn’t who should be representing country music to the world, I’m not talking about her as a person. I actually think her personality represents us well. It’s that her album doesn’t sound country, at least not what I want people to think country music sounds like. Her tunes are catchy and a certain demographic can relate to her lyrics, but there’s not a whole lot of depth behind a couple topics. I think that’ll change as time goes on, but it’s the way things stand now. I will say that she is very good at writing about the narrow topics that she does cover though. Furthermore, I’ve defended Swift my share of times over the past couple years, so I’m not against her in general. In fact, she charms the socks off me time and time again.

    Vance,
    Please try to be more respectful to both Swift and the commenters who don’t agree with you about her. Calling her “Little miss Swift” is really more personal in tone than I’d like to see this conversation regarding her go. Also, telling people to go elsewhere is not appropriate either.

  43. JonNo Gravatar

    Swift should seriously thank Kanye West one of these days. It’s fun to play what might have been:

    Where would Swift be without Kanyegate? I would venture she’ll still do well on pop but not this big. She should share her AOTY win with Kanye.

  44. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I dunno…I think she was pretty big before Kanye.

  45. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    The Kanye publicity certainly introduced (and possibly endeared) her to yet more people, but “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me” had already been pop hits by that point, and both her albums had already sold millions. She might want to thank him, but she doesn’t owe him her career.

  46. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Most interesting thing to me is that Lady A jumped back to No. 1 on iTunes after the Grammys. I expect we’ll be hearing this song next year on the Grammys.

  47. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “Artists like George Strait, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood are country artists while little Miss Swift’s work has nothing to do with country music at all.”

    But let’s be honest: none of those artists are completely “stone country,” either. Hardly anyone is, except for an assortment of non-mainstream acts whose dedication to sounding “classic” sometimes sounds overly affected and irrelevant. Music has always evolved – country included – and that’s something we need to acknowledge if we’re going to draw exclusive genre lines. Most of the artists people call “real country” these days have a number of pop or rock-styled songs on their records; Swift just happens to have more. It’s not a black-and-white issue.

    All that said, I’m with Leeann in saying that Swift wouldn’t be my pick to represent country to the rest of the world, though I happen to really like her current album for what it is. I don’t think she has much knowledge of (or at least identification with) any of country music’s roots, and it would certainly be nice if our biggest star was one who could deliver live. But I don’t buy the idea that her having success with (very) pop-styled music is going to forever taint country. I imagine much of the same sort of thing was said when Glen Campbell was on top, and I don’t think he looks too out of place in the Hall of Fame a few decades later, nor did he prevent Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and countless others from finding success with traditional-leaning music in years to come.

  48. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I actually prefer Swift to Campbell.:) I don’t dig Campbell’s orchestral, Nashville Sound.

    Despite my frustration, I actually agree with Dan on this topic on a practical level, including that Underwood and Lambert aren’t even close to being traditionalists if we want to start defining what is and is not country. Paisley and Strait are closer, but Paisley, in particular, blurs the lines relatively often too. I rarely think things are black and white, this subject included.

  49. JonNo Gravatar

    “I dunno…I think she was pretty big before Kanye.”

    Pretty big, sure, she has had the pop hits, but SYMPATHY goes a long way. People suddenly looked at her like “Oh this poor thing bullied by that big bad boy…who cares if she can’t sing?” It’s not far-fetched to think 2M of her albums sold and the extra, extra airplay she received were due to that. Plus what would the CMA writers work with if not for the Kanyegate? Probably half of that award show was dedicated to putting down Kanye and picking up Swift. And the ensuing Kanye snub on the awards show surely helped her as well – one less competition to worry about.

    She would have been probably still relevant, but not THIS big. I could imagine Big Machine promo materials look like “For Your Consideration – Entertainer of the Year” and you have the VMA’s incident as the main picture.

  50. JonNo Gravatar

    Sorry, I forgot I wasn’t on a message board.

  51. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Fixed.

  52. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Jon – “It’s not far-fetched to think 2M of her albums sold and the extra, extra airplay she received were due to [Kanye].”

    From Hitsdailydouble.com, here are the sales for Taylor Swift in the weeks before and after the MTV awards on September 13, 2009. The sales week marked with an asterisk is the week after the MTV awards.

    33,722
    34,309
    35,007
    33,529
    *45,441*
    33,841
    31,538

    Taylor had a one week spike and then fell right back to her pre-award sale totals. And some of that increase would, in any event, be associated with the fact that Taylor appeared on a popular award show and won. For example, in the week after the show, Lady Gaga’s sales shot up about 80%.

    The Kanye-effect was negligible (if it is there at all, and I suspect it is not). The surge in album sales for “Fearless” is attributable to the re-release of the album with additional tracks, the holiday buying season and the fall and winter award shows.

    Kanye was not a factor.

  53. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I tend to agree. At this point, I suspect that the Kanye incident is old news to most people, including the Academy. A few jokes and some sympathetic feelings may have come from it, but I’m doubting that she has him to thank for much more than that. While I felt she came out looking good in that situation, it has not made me listen to her music more frequently since then. I’m guessing the same is true for most people who weren’t already fans.

  54. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I spoke to a few people when I went home (Maryland) for the holidays who hadn’t heard of Taylor before the VMA incident. I tend to think it’s been just one of many factors in her fame – nothing more, nothing less. Had it not happened, many of those same people might have heard her the next week on the radio or something. But publicity like that does create an impression on people, whether or not it always translates directly into sales.

  55. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Interesting. Most people that I know have known who she is for awhile now, including my artsy fartsy professor brother-in-law thanks to a New Yorker expose on her. So, I haven’t experienced people who’ve only heard of her because of the VMAs yet. I’m not saying that’s not the case outside of my world though.

  56. TomNo Gravatar

    @ dan

    your little list of more traditional country stars made have a quick glimpse at the george jones “who’s gonna fill their shoes” clip on youtube. if you took george strait to sing a remake and put pictures into it of alan jackson, garth, reba, dolly, patty loveless, randy travis, dwight yoakam, tim mcgraw, trisha yearwood – wouldn’t you end up in the same situation all over again, wondering who’s gonna fill their shoes?

  57. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I should clarify that while these people may have heard of her, it doesn’t mean that they could hum any of her songs on the spot.

  58. JonNo Gravatar

    I should clarify that while these people may have heard of her, it doesn’t mean that they could hum any of her songs on the spot.

    I think that’s not so unusual. I don’t think anyone hasn’t heard of Taylor, although they wouldn’t be able to necessarily name all her songs. My brother still calls her as the one who sang the cheerleader song. And that’s all he knows.

  59. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Dan – “I spoke to a few people when I went home (Maryland) for the holidays who hadn’t heard of Taylor before the VMA incident.”

    That sounds right to me. It was the first time, for example, my mother saw Taylor Swift. Like our President, my mother noted that Kanye was a jerk. And she moved on without buying “Fearless” or demanding more airtime for Taylor’s songs.

  60. dudleyNo Gravatar

    Was anyone else following Natalie Hemby’s tweets during the Grammys? She was pretty horrified during “Rhiannon.” These were her tweets while Taylor Swift was performing:

    http://twitter.com/wruckesgirl/status/8479759208
    http://twitter.com/wruckesgirl/status/8479913463

    Judging from her later tweets, she was definitely not rooting for Swift in the Album of the Year category, either, although I’m not sure whose win in the Album of the Year category would have constituted a victory for real creative music. Dave Matthews Band, I suppose.

    Although I’ve got to say that, as melodically derivative (to put it charitably) and topically narrow as I find Swift’s music, I don’t see how it’s any more antithetical to creativity than the album from the Black Eyed Peas or the one from Beyonce. Sure, Taylor’s music relies heavily on the sprucing up of vocals in studio, but so does the music from the aforementioned Peas. Gaga and Beyonce may not need the help, but their voices are processed in studio, too. So I guess the argument is really that the Grammys should have nominated a different slate in the General Field album category (she did ask a rhetorical question during Neil Portno’s speech of why the Grammys keep nominating crap). I couldn’t argue with that, personally.

  61. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Who is Natalie Hemby?

    As for the quality of vocals, Green Day was worlds worse than Taylor Swift. But being backed up by a competent Broadway cast instead of a faded rocker helped. Everyone in the Jamie Foxx number sounded horrible – including his fat sister who, as far as I know, didn’t sing anything at all. And Drake was virtually unlistenable (even though you couldn’t listen to much he was singing anyway since so much of the Eminem number was bleeped). It was a bad night on many fronts for vocals.

    Taylor’s vocals on “You Belong With Me” were fine. So much so that I place at Stevie Nicks’s cocaine powdered feet the debacle that was Rhiannon.

  62. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    Taylor sounded fine on “You Belong With Me” but all other aspects were awful and she had, without question, the worst performance of the night. I had high expectations that weren’t fulfilled, and I hope she doesn’t see backlash after that appalling vocal.

  63. DiamondNo Gravatar

    One thing I like about the Grammy broadcast, and others shudder at this, I’m sure, is the pure, often outrageous spectacle of the show. Crazy, weird, unpredictable, I really look forward to it. While the Academy Awards marathon bores me to tears, the Grammy telecast, which is what I’m commenting on, not the actual selections, is always better-paced, and more entertaining. Plus, I do not take it very seriously, which helps me enjoy it more.

  64. KNo Gravatar

    I think Taylor is an excellent role model and personable indivdual with worthy writing talent, acting skills, and business smarts. She knows what her fans want, and she delivers everytime.

    However, I don’t believe she deserves any award she was given last night. Sure, “Fearless” is an enoyable (pop) album, just as “You Belong With Me” “White Horse, and “Breathe” are well-written, if not somewhat vein songs. However, a well-crafted, immature pop album that doesn’t step outside the narrow lines of he said/she said romance and he sad/she said stories of cheating and perfect prince and princess esq love stories should not ever win over what it did last night.

    Giving Taylor all these huge awards at this stage in her career isn’t logical. It’s as if the people who vote for her to win these awards are saying that it’s acceptable for an immature teenager who writes about love stories, princes, and cheerleaders to win huge honors, while artists who write mature music that makes history and changes the face of modern music itself have to sit back and accept that it’s now acceptable for someone who is nowhere near at their level to be there.

    Before the show last night, I held respect for awards shows, and I held out hope that the most prestigious awards in music would be awarded to artists that made memorable and mature music, some of which will be remembered for years to come. Taylor’s win made me realize that these awards mean absolutely nothing; they are an attempt for a few minutes of publicity, not a showcase for lasting and legendary talent. Taylor has cheapened every awards show in my opinion.

    The only positive aspect of the awards show for me was knowing that the great talents of the genre are going to be there long after Swift fades away and loses her young audience. They have the longevity, maturity, vocal talent and songs that will last.

    It makes me sort of sad to know that people believe Taylor is the modern face of country music. I’m a teenager, and I don’t worship her, and I don’t understand the hype. I respect the genre of country music because the artists have mature stories that tell songs about real life. I don’t respect a genre that choses to dump unworthy praise and awards on an immature young woman with an extremely narrow veiw of life and immature material.

    I would be downright embarassed to think that I love a genre whose top artist has nowhere near the talent she should. I was proud of Carrie, Lady A, Jenifer Nettles and The Zach Brown Band for representing what the real scope of country music is. It’s disgusting that real talent was passed up last night in favor of the flavor of the moment.

  65. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    K said: “…while artists who write mature music that makes history and changes the face of modern music itself have to sit back and accept that it’s now acceptable for someone who is nowhere near at their level to be there.”

    I agree with some of what you’ve said, but I’m not sure who Taylor beat out who fits the above description though, as far as “making history and changing the face of modern music” goes.

  66. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    K – “I think Taylor . . . deserves any award she was given last night.”

    Me – Agreed!

  67. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Okay, Treacle, I have to call foul at this point. Continuously and knowingly misrepresenting/stating what somebody else has said goes against the spirit of our comment policy.

  68. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    That post was like the declaration of independence! I mean, after endlessly reaming Taylor Swift, I’m also certain K held forth on the Injuries and Usurpations visited on thefe Colonies by the present King of Great Britain.

    Who wouldn’t get a little confused (and of a truncating mind)?

  69. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Hmmm…well…we’ve all got our pet topics I guess.:)

  70. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Yes. And I look forward to a Brad Paisley post soon, so I can return to mine! But I won’t. I promise to refrain . . .

  71. KNo Gravatar

    Leann,

    You’re right that many of this year’s nominees weren’t particular inovative, but all of them have better vocals than Taylor, and the music for the most part was more mature than anything TS has put out thus far.

    I can think of many artists who are above Taylor’s talent level, but only a few years older. (Beyonce, Pink Gaga, Adele, Christina Aguelira, Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis, and Miranda Lambert come to mind).

    How can these awards have merit when an immature teenager who writes vein songs be lumped in with true icons like Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis, Celine Dion, the Beatles, and so many others who have changed music?

    I’m not saying there have been no undeserving Grammy winners, but this award used to represent the highest honor in music; it seperated you from the rest, gave you the right to be called a great artist. I can’t say it represents that for me anymore, and I will no longer sit up and think “wow, this person must be really talented” when I hear the words Grammy Winner. These awards are now nothing more than a cheap statue of plastic, instead of a measure of honor and talent like they used to be.
    I am now convinced that the public can no longer be longer be blamed for the sharp decline in musical quality; it’s now safe to blame that on the musical “experts” who pick someone sub-par like Miss Swift to represent the best current talent in music. I was ashamed to call myself a country music fan after Taylor’s atrocious vocals and multiple wins last night.

  72. KennedyNo Gravatar

    WTF! This is absurd. Why they let Taylor win over Carrie for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Like duh?! Carrie has a great vocal prowess, Taylor voice is like a *****. That’s a big bullshit.

  73. ARWNo Gravatar

    What I don’t get is this: Who, within her mgmt circle, believes it a good idea for her to sing during live performances? They must know the danger because she is so appallingly bad. My theory is that someone simply forgot to turn her mic autotune “on”.

  74. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    K – “I was ashamed to call myself a country music fan after Taylor’s atrocious vocals and multiple wins last night.”

    It’s funny because I was ashamed to call myself a rock fan after Billie Joe Armstrong got schooled by the kids from Glee. And then I was ashamed to myself a hip hop fan after Jamie Foxx and a cast of misfits bumblef**ked their way through “Blame It On the Alcohol”. And then I got ashamed all over again to call myself a R&B fan after Beyonce forgot the words to “You Oughta Know”.

    So between me and you, K, there was an awful lot of multi-genre shame last night! We were red-faced, weren’t we?!

  75. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Definitely don’t agree, Treacle. I thought the other genres fared pretty well (and we did, too, with ZBB and even Lady A, who delivered a decent performance).

  76. dudleyNo Gravatar

    Natalie Hemby is a terrific country singer-songwriter who co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s recent #1* hit “White Liar” with Miranda. She also co-wrote “The Airstream Song” on Miranda’s current album, as well as the incredible album track “The Bees” on Lee Ann Womack’s Call Me Crazy.

    Speaking of Miranda, I found this tweet of hers to be telling as far as her own views:

    http://twitter.com/Miranda_Lambert/status/8493824506

    Of the acts played by country radio who got to showcase their own music, Miranda congratulated Zac Brown Band and Lady A, but not Taylor. Granted, Miranda didn’t single out Carrie or Jennifer Nettles either, but she has been complimentary of Carrie recently and in the past, and in any case, both artists were part of non-country performances.

    I thought Hillary Scott struggled at the Grammys even before the indignity of the curtain falling on her. I think her live performances have gotten dodgier pitch-wise, although her misses certainly aren’t as frequent or as egregious as Taylor’s. Hillary’s issues sound like nerves to me, though, whereas Taylor’s combine a weak instrument with poor technique and poor delivery choices. The pitch problems on all three songs of her medley rested largely with her; Stevie Nicks had a few of her own, but the ones she had followed way bigger misses by Taylor.

    By the way, I obviously meant to call him Neil Portnow, but Neil Portno.

    * That’s #1 if you count Mediabase/Country Aircheck.

  77. KNo Gravatar

    “It’s funny because I was ashamed to call myself a rock fan after Billie Joe Armstrong got schooled by the kids from Glee. And then I was ashamed to myself a hip hop fan after Jamie Foxx and a cast of misfits bumblef**ked their way through “Blame It On the Alcohol”. And then I got ashamed all over again to call myself a R&B fan after Beyonce forgot the words to “You Oughta Know”.

    First off, Green Day is hardly a rock band. Bad pop rock maybe, but that’s all I will give them.
    I wouldn’t be embarrased for them because they don’t make interesting music, and it’s hardly Grammy-worthy in my opinion. I will give you the rap refrence- but Emiem and Lil Wayne And Foxx
    are rappers who make a living off being valuger and swearing. If you listen to their music, you should hardly be surprised by what went on last night. To be fair, I think all music fans were probably embarrased during that part of the show.

    I loved Beyonce’s performance, and I thought she did an excellent job. She is a singer, dancer, and engaging performer- she has the whole package. So what if she forgot a few lines? I saw the performance, and it wasn’t anything noticable. She still continued on with the performance like a professonal, and that’s all that matters. After all, it’s not as if “You Oughta Know” is a classic song or anything.
    By the way, Beyonce is not hip-hop; she’s pop.

    I like Lady A, but I thought they were off, too. I actually thought they were decent vocalists, but I saw Hilary perform “American Honey” on Ellen, and I was pretty disappointed. She was flat, and her voice seeemed to lose all the character of the recording that makes the song so charming.

    I personally cannot believe that anyone would defend Taylor’s vocals, but I certaintly am not going to argue with you about it. I thought she was atrocious, and had the worst performance of the night by far. If you think she’s talented, that’s your business. I stand by what I said though, and I won’t be supporting her for a pretty long time.

  78. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Kennedy, I edited out the language in your comment, as per our Policy. I don’t know if you meant it as offensive as it came across, but please be careful in the future.

    “After all, it’s not as if “You Oughta Know” is a classic song or anything.”

    I dunno, definitely among the most memorable pop hits of the 90’s. I might put it in classic territory.

    Lefsetz is saying now that Taylor put a much closer expiration date on her career with that performance. I hope that’s not true, since I still like her songs and don’t really care how she is live (because I can’t imagine digging her full show much anyway. I do wish she’d stop sucking on national television). But it could well be the case. The coolness of the Butch Walker arrangement aside, it was a pretty embarrassing performance even for her, and it seems to have gotten more people than ever scratching their heads about her success, especially since she later walked away with the night’s top award. I’ve certainly heard a lot about it today.

    http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php

  79. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “My theory is that someone simply forgot to turn her mic autotune “on”.”

    Swift has sworn she doesn’t use live auto-tune. Based on her track record of performances, it’s hard not to believe her.

  80. KNo Gravatar

    Dan,

    That is believable when you watch the live performances at her own concerts. Compare a live version of “You Belong With Me” or “Love Story” to a televised performance, and you will notice a difference.

    LS in concert on the Fearless Tour:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSMFUrKxcxI

    LS on Oprah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xvh33Ce_EM

  81. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    K – “I loved Beyonce’s performance, and I thought she did an excellent job. . . So what if she forgot a few lines?”

    I’m with you, K. If you can carry a tune, who cares if you forget to sings the words that go with that tune!

  82. TomNo Gravatar

    …adds a whole new dimension to the old “forgettable lyrics” expression.

  83. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    @cincin kawin perak – what is jogjabelanja?

  84. JonNo Gravatar

    Is this the first time ever? Borchetta now speaks about Taylor’s highly criticized performance saying that “she’s a very intelligent girl and she will work on it.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2010-02-02-taylornext02_ST_N.htm?csp=34

    HA! Were the rumblings that loud that he had to go forward and put out a statement?! This is the first time I read from someone from Taylor’s camp defending her live performaces. I guess with all the pile-up, from CMA’s to Haiti Telethon and now the Grammy’s, it was just a matter of time.

    I think Taylor’s live performances should just be coffeehouse style of just sitting on a chair and playing her guitar and singing mellow or stripped down songs. Her vocals are the least shaky in that setting, though that’s not really saying much. Or if not, just embrace autotune for God’s sake – his nemesis Kanye did. The hilarity of trying to be an “all-around” performer with her live uptempo performances with the backbend and the hair-flipping (oh the hair-flipping! She tried to do it at the YBWM performance, but probably decided to do it half-heartedly just in case Stevie gets hit. Lol!) coupled with the vocals that just flies everywhere is just laughably embarrassing.

    I guess Natalie Hemby will not write for Taylor anytime soon.

  85. JonNo Gravatar

    “After all, it’s not as if “You Oughta Know” is a classic song or anything.”

    I dunno, definitely among the most memorable pop hits of the 90’s. I might put it in classic territory.

    It’s very much classic. After all, aren’t most Taylor songs patterned after it?

  86. ARWNo Gravatar

    “Swift has sworn she doesn’t use live auto-tune. Based on her track record of performances, it’s hard not to believe her.”

    Lafsetz initially wrote-up the idea that a lot of “insiders” were claiming privately that, when it came to live performances, she was an autotune junkie . These were supposedly insiders in a position to know. This was at the time of Britney’s Aussie disaster. And in a clear case of “the lady doth protest too much…”, her and her father called him to object to the charge. I wonder if what we’ve been hearing lately is an attempt to display her bona fides.

    I suspect we’ll soon hear more about Liz Rose and Taylor’s songwriting skills.

  87. dudleyNo Gravatar

    Jon, Scott Borchetta gave a far more defensive response to The Tennessean:

    “The facts say she is the undisputed best communicator that we’ve got,” Borchetta said. “So when she says something or feels something it affects more people than anybody else. Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she is the best emotional singer. Everybody gets up there and is technically perfect people don’t seem to want more of it. There’s not an artist in any other format that people want more of than they want of Taylor. I think (the critics) are missing the whole voice of a generation that is happening right in front of them. Maybe they are jealous or can’t understand that. But obviously the people that she talks to are engaged with her. No one is perfect on any given day. Maybe in that moment we didn’t have the best night, but in the same breath, maybe we did.”

    The “best emotional singer” is someone who goes distractingly out of tune and can’t properly modulate her voice to fit the lyric. OK then.

    I don’t totally dismiss his point, because I’ve speculated before that a good portion of Taylor’s popularity comes from the fact that many, many a teenage/tween girl can sing her songs and sound at least as good as she does. But to suggest that Taylor’s sales are somehow a testament to her skillful interpretive singing is begging to be mocked. Has anyone ever talked to Borchetta about the true meaning of McDonald’s sales?

    Borchetta’s argument doesn’t get any more impressive when he pulls the “jealousy” card out, either.

    I’m sure Swift’s people realize they have a problem now. They are among the savviest PR folks around so I’ve no doubt they’ll dream up a fix. A start would be to have Taylor stick to acoustic songs that she sings solely in head voice — she has better control that way and her tone is more consistent. It’s the transitions to chest voice and trying to achieve volume via her chest voice that have led her to her most off-putting vocal moments.

  88. JonNo Gravatar

    The “best emotional singer” is someone who goes distractingly out of tune and can’t properly modulate her voice to fit the lyric. OK then.

    It’s sad coming from Borchetta because he’s apparently forgotten he has Trisha Yearwood in his label, that Trisha Yearwood who just delivered last year some spine-tingling, emotionally-charged This is Me You’re Talking To.

    I forgot – Trisha doesn’t make him money so she’s pretty much useless in his eyes, I guess.

  89. JonNo Gravatar

    I forgot, I wonder if Borchetta will staunchly defend Swift just the same come the time she doesn’t make him much money anymore as she does now?

    There’ll probably be a new “best emotional singer” by then.

  90. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    My favorite part of Borchetta’s statement is this:

    I think (the critics) are missing the whole voice of a generation that is happening right in front of them. Maybe they are jealous or can’t understand that.

    The “maybe they are jealous” part amuses me because it’s the kind of juvenile response that we typically read from angry fanatics of certain artists that have received negative reviews. It surprises me that a president of a record company would resort to it too.

  91. Hoggy from OzNo Gravatar

    Taylor, the most “emotional singer”! Bah… Obviously this bloke has never listened to Gary Allan or Keith Urban!

  92. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Jon – “I think Taylor’s live performances should just be coffeehouse style of just sitting on a chair and playing her guitar and singing mellow or stripped down songs.”

    That sounds right. Taylor’s bad performances outweigh the good performances. But she does have good performances. She needs to learn from Madonna: accept that you will never sound as good live as you do recorded and use sex as a vehicle to distract others from that fact (but do, in any event, take vocal lessons just in case you have to be in Evita. Or Glee).

  93. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    So I saw this article on Huffington Post by the former Chief Editor of Billboard (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamara-conniff/can-taylor-swift-sing_b_446895.html).

    She asks “Can Taylor Swift Sing?” And she shares some personal experience about Taylor performances.

    And then there’s this video from the George Strait video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in3PtPhFltc. Taylor sounds perfectly fine. She doesn’t belt like Reba or Martina. But it’s still a very good job.

    Mystifying to me how the wheels come off (and so badly).

  94. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I guess I’m just in the camp that thinks base vocal talent is crucial and inherent. I don’t think Swift has the natural ability to become a great singer, and I’m not sure she’s ever going to be any better (technically speaking) than she is right now – though she may become better at picking songs that suit her.

    But her songwriting is another story, and it’ll be fascinating to see how her skills take off, and how she chooses to use them.

  95. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Tara – “I guess I’m just in the camp that thinks base vocal talent is crucial and inherent.”

    Some very fine artists – Kristofferson, Dylan and Petty – are marginal singers at best and frequently seem to lack base vocal talent. Their ability to find a note is bad. Their ability to stay on note is worse. But we still regard them as good (even great) artists because of their songwriting abilities and in spite of their vocal talents. In fact, their vocal deficiencies seem to be transformed into desirable flaws.

    I’m not sure if Taylor will develop into an artist like that. But if she performs like she did at the George Strait tribute, she won’t have to.

  96. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I should clarify – when I said “crucial,” I meant to being a great singer. I am not talking about artistry; I’m referring to the discussions above about Swift learning to improve as a singer.

  97. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Tara – “I should clarify – when I said “crucial,” I meant to being a great singer”

    Sarah Palin and Barack Obama will have an extramarital affair before Taylor Swift will ever be a great singer.

  98. KNo Gravatar

    “I guess I’m just in the camp that thinks base vocal talent is crucial and inherent. I don’t think Swift has the natural ability to become a great singer, and I’m not sure she’s ever going to be any better (technically speaking) than she is right now – though she may become better at picking songs that suit her.”

    I agree 100%, Tara. It definatly helps if an artist can write, perform and be in control of the business side of thier career, but singing talent should be first. After all, Taylor is in the position of role model, spokeswoman, and overall entertainer because she got a record deal. I think some people are dismissive to that; it’s the “she can perform, write, and act so she will be fine” idea and I absolutely disagree with that.

    I hope Taylor grows as a songwriter, but right now I see little progress. There is no change between say “Our Song” or “Picture To Burn” on her debut four years ago than “Today Was A Fairytale” and “Jump Then Fall, both released this year. I realize that Taylor is still young and has time to improve, but I don’t think that lets her off the hook entirely. After all, Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert wrote songs with much more maturity `and depth at Taylor Swift’s age. If she is so talented as a writer, she should grow each year, even if it’s only a little bit every song.

    I think Taylor has had some average performances (“Breathless,” “Run,” “White Horse”) but I’ve come to realize that it isn’t worth it to follow an artist just so you can see a once-in-a-blue-moon decent performance. Don’t we deserve better as music fans?

    For the record, the “defense” from Borchetta is just childish, I’m sorry. He sounds like a crazed fan who always uses the “Taylor rules, OMG ur just jealous cop that comes from 12 year old kids. Taylor has not improved her vocals, and she has been slammed for her pitchy vocals since day one; does Scott really think people are guliable enough to believe she can improve with practice? She has no natural talent as a singer, and I don’t see her getting any better. Listen to Leann Rimes, Christina Aguilera and Carrie Undwood at Taylor’s age; they were briliant.

  99. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    K – “It definatly helps if an artist can write”

    Me: Please pass the industrial-strength tweezers. It’s beam removal time.

  100. JonNo Gravatar

    Listen to Leann Rimes, Christina Aguilera and Carrie Undwood at Taylor’s age; they were briliant.

    But they don’t write their own songs. [/sarcasm]

    I remember Alanis Morissette winning AOTY with Jagged Little Pill at around the same age as Taylor. That’s why I don’t get all this praise of “Who cares if she sings badly? She writes her own material and ZOMG it’s so good!!!” Alanis was able to do it around the same age while having probably twice the vocal ability that Taylor has, and probably with better songwriting and material too.

  101. TomNo Gravatar

    …perhaps some of the reasons her album sold 25 mio. copies or so.

  102. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Jon – “Alanis was able to do it around the same age while having probably twice the vocal ability that Taylor has”

    Me – Disagree. Sort of. Alanis has ten times the vocal ability of Taylor and two times the vocal ability of Beyonce

    Jon – “and probably with better songwriting and material too.”

    Me – Disagree. Everything on Jagged Little Pill was really the construction of Glen Ballard. None of the hits were solo efforts by Alanis. At a younger age, Taylor is writing, by herself, songs that are significantly better than songs Alanis was co-writing. Alanis’s later songs are much better. But Alanis is basically over as a commercial artist because of the backlash from her own commercial success (whither Lauryn Hill, Hootie).

  103. JonNo Gravatar

    At a younger age, Taylor is writing, by herself, songs that are significantly better than songs Alanis was co-writing.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I know Taylor writes some songs by herself, but it’s not as if she wrote entire albums. Glen might have had a significant hand, but Alanis has proven she can hold her own. In some cases, I think the whole “songwriter all by myself” is overrated anyway.

    And in my personal opinion, there’s more substance to You Oughta Know than Picture To Burn, Head Over Feet than Today Was A Fairytale/Love Story/You Belong With Me, Your House than White Horse. I know Fifteen is a good song, but I personally prefer You Learn.

  104. KNo Gravatar

    This comment isn’t in the same vein as what you both are discussing, but a discussion on another blog helped me realize what I’ve been trying to say. I know Taylor isn’t the best singer, and singing isn’t everything. However, I think she needs to utilize her talents together to make people forget about shortcomings.

    As an example, I’ll use Rascal Flatts. People constantly grumble that Gary Levox isn’t a great singer, right? I’m a huge fan, and I know he struggles a lot (I personally think he’s better than Taylor, but a whole other debate).
    He’s not a great singer, but he (and Jay and Joe Don) use a few tricks Taylor doesn’t seem to know yet.

    If you’re not a great vocalist, pick songs that fit your range (“Bless The Broken Road, “Why,” “These Days,” “I Melt,” “I’m Movin On” in RF’s case).

    Second, if you truly cannot pull of material that you love, but doesn’t fit your voice, at least pick timeless songs that people will go back and listen to; they will remember quality over a few bad live vocals (“What Hurts The Most,” “These Days,” “My Wish,” “Why,” “I Melt,” “Fast Cars and Freedom,” “She Goes All The Way”).

    Third, learn to become an excellent performer; the show should be so good that people would never be able to get the same experience at home- use everything from explosions to video screens to guitar and fiddle battles and short band solos and skits. Maybe even throw in rock covers like “Sweet Child O Mine” or “Pour Some Sugar On Me; chances are that’s the only place you will ever see such performances from a country artists; take advantage of it, surprise people.

    Third, learn to produce and write for others; do a duet with an unexpected artist,spontaneously record a classic song, or just write with new people.

    I know this seems out of place, but these are just a few things that give average vocalists a reason to stay around, and I think Taylor needs to learn that if she wants to stay relevent.

  105. AljidNo Gravatar

    K, I think she all focus of Swift should be bent on vocal lessons.

  106. AljidNo Gravatar

    “K, I think she all focus of Swift should be bent on vocal lessons.”

    Crap..my English is cracking up..it should be…

    K, I think she should all focus her attention on vocal lessons.

  107. VanceNo Gravatar

    Vocal lessons won’t do her much good anyway because most of the world has more vocal talent than her.

  108. i like the result..

    is very fair i think