The Success of Taylor Swift is Not a Moral Issue

I slept through the Grammys this year.  I’m not being figurative here. I was literally asleep before the show began, and I read about the telecast winners the next morning.

In the days since, there has been a lot of chatter, including some at Country Universe, regarding both her wins and her performance on the show. Reading through the comments for the first time yesterday, I was struck by how passionate both sides are when debating Swift’s worthiness to be a Grammy winner, standard bearer for country music, or even a recording artist at all.

I’d like to suggest that there is no moral dilemma being created by the success of Taylor Swift.  Country music has been around for a long time before she came along, and it will remain long after she’s gone, whether that’s a year from now or fifty years from now.

I say this as someone who is remarkably indifferent to Swift, even though I tend to agree with the major criticisms of her.  Can she sing? Dear God, no. At least not on a live microphone.  I’m sure that pairing her with Stevie Nicks was the travesty that it’s being described as.

But it’s not like country music hasn’t been embarrassed before. Anyone who witnessed John Michael Montgomery’s atrocious butchering of “I Swear” on the Grammys or saw the Cyrus Virus at its mullet and exposed armpit peak can attest to that. Country music will survive.

Did she win in the country categories with music that is essentially pop?  Sure she did. But so have everyone from Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton to Shania Twain and Juice Newton.  Grammy voters have never been purists and crossover music is as much a tradition in the genre’s history as what is generally referred to as traditional country music.  Country music will survive.

Did she win a vocalist award over far better singers? Of course she did. But so did K.T. Oslin and Mary Chapin Carpenter, the latter of whom won four consecutive trophies for four consecutive ditties. Swift’s victory came with a song that’s fairly substantive, at least.  Country music will survive.

Will Taylor Swift fade in popularity once her tween/teen audience matures? Possibly, but there’s no way to predict that. The history of popular music is filled with superstars who made their name by appealing to teenage audiences. Some, like the Backstreet Boys and Tiffany, quickly faded into obscurity, but others, like The Beatles and Madonna, are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Should she be the genre’s standard bearer right now? Enough record buyers and award show voters seem to think so.  They’ve been wrong before, but they’ve also acknowledged great talent early on, so who knows?

Personally, the subject matter of Swift’s songs coupled with vocals best experienced through closed captioning keeps me from getting on board with the star du jour. But I don’t think it’s a good or a bad thing that she’s experiencing commercial success and getting industry awards as well. It’s just a reflection of the marketplace. Just because I don’t personally like something doesn’t mean that others can’t find meaning in it, and with music being entirely subjective anyway, I just don’t see what the moral issue is here.

If you like other artists more, great. Listen to them.  Taylor Swift being on the radio doesn’t stop Pam Tillis from being on my car stereo.  Award shows voting Taylor Swift the best vocalist doesn’t stop a dissenter from feeling that anyone else is better.  There’s no moral issue here; just a difference of opinion.

Now if Meryl Streep loses to Sandra Bullock for Best Actress at the Oscars, then we can talk about moral injustices…

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103 Comments

Filed under Grammys, Miscellaneous Musings

103 Responses to The Success of Taylor Swift is Not a Moral Issue

  1. nedNo Gravatar

    i’m one of the biggest fans of taylor swift…congratzz love ur work..

  2. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    From Entertainment Weekly before the Grammys:

    “Friday brought the chance to see Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks collaborate . . . The two women’s voices complimented each other nicely on the harmonies of “Rhiannon,” before moving into a more awkward mandolin-fueled hoedown version of “You Belong With Me.””

    Ironic. The only part of Taylor’s performance that worked – “You Belong With Me” – was the awkward part in rehearsals. And the disastrous part of the Grammys was fine earlier.

  3. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    Sandra > Meryl. Enjoy.

  4. SDNo Gravatar

    Thanks for this. So Taylor Swift won a couple of awards. Is it really that big of a deal?

    (But I do love Sandra–she was excellent in The Blind Side.)

  5. GAILNo Gravatar

    I don’t recall any artist sounding as bad as Taylor does live, well, oh yeah, Rascal Flatts comes to mind and then I remember seeing Rodney Atkins doing a horrible medley of his songs on an award show. And you know, most of the time Chesney doesn’t sound very good live. I know there is more but can’t think of them right now. Taylor is horrible IMO, but she won’t be the last terrible singer to come along and win everything so what’s the use in having award shows. Just say to the artist who brings in the most money…here is your award so enjoy!! Nothing is sacred anymore. It’s all about the money and power!! I love Meryl and Sandra both so I won’t be disappointed in which one wins!

  6. AaronNo Gravatar

    I agree with everything you said…except the whole Sandra and Meryl Thing, haha. Sandra is going to win and I think it’s well deserved! She was phenominal in the Blind Side!

  7. JonNo Gravatar

    Have you guys read that latest “defense” of Borchetta? Now he blames it on “technical” issues and Swift worrying about hearing the right music mix on her ear.

    It’s getting funnier everytime.

  8. KevinNo Gravatar

    That they’re choosing to publicly defend her is ridiculous. She won the Grammy for Album of the Year. They should be celebrating that instead of feeding into a backlash against their top artist.

    I was being facetious with the Sandra vs. Meryl thing, which of course is not a moral issue, either. Still rooting for Meryl, though. She’s overdue and she was amazing in that movie.

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    What movie is she up for? Doubt? If so, that was a very good movie and she was great. If not, I’ll have to catch up on my movie watching someday.

  10. TomNo Gravatar

    …growing older is certainly not doing any harm to your blogs – quite on the contrary. let’s see what it’s going to do to ms. swift.

  11. JonNo Gravatar

    Leeann, she’s up for Julie and Julia.

    The “defense” is funny and getting ridiculous. Probably because what they have been successful at hiding so far is now coming out to light?

    Scott is afraid the chinks in the armor is finally being revealed…

  12. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ah…I have not seen that one. Come to think of it, Doubt is old, huh?

  13. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I think Borchetta should step back out of the publicist role. He’s not doing it well.

  14. BobNo Gravatar

    Kevin said: Did she win a vocalist award over far better singers? Of course she did. But so did K.T. Oslin and Mary Chapin Carpenter, the latter of whom won four consecutive trophies for four consecutive ditties.

    I’m a bit dismayed that you included a reference to MCC in this TS article. Some one not familiar with Mary’s music may think she can’t sing or sings off-key like TS. I’ve seen her in concert 4 times, most recently about 4 months ago, and she is never off-key and sounds just like she does on her cds.

  15. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    Borchetta’s latest defense takes an implicit swipe at Underwood. Is this man that stupid?

    “She is the voice of this generation. She speaks directly to (her fans), and they speak directly back to her,” said Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta in a phone interview. “This is not ‘American Idol.’ This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note. This is about a true artist and writer and communicator. It’s not about that technically perfect performance.”

    Kelly Clarkson jumped him immediately for that.

  16. JonNo Gravatar

    Borchetta is as immature as Swift’s music is.

    At least Swift has the excuse that she’s only 20 years old. What is Borchetta’s excuse? He’s only 15?

  17. KNo Gravatar

    I’m sorry, but this whole situation is getting so ridculous it’s sad. Taylor is not a vocalist, and she has never been one. I think people are now starting to see that because she was rewarded by the Grammy’s- which is the biggest show in the land, and people assume that they vote for talent over hype and quality over quanity.

    Now that music fans have seen that’s not always true, they’re angry about it. I had respect for Taylor, but it faded after the Grammy’s. Her album filled with immature teenage stories deserves to stand among the best of the best in every genre of music? I don’t think so. Her off-key vocals deserve to be lauded when she can’t sing live? Absolutly not. Taylor may be decent competetion in the country market, but it’s becomes an absolute joke when she awarded the best of the best when she isn’t even in the same leauge.

    Her album was well-crafted and sold buckets- did it ever occur to anyone that fixing her vocals is one of the reasons it sold so much in the first place? If her vocals weren’t fixed up the wazoo she wouldn’t have a tenth of the sales she has now.

    I think the “denfense” of her label is pathetic- Scott sounds like one of Taylor’s 12-year-old fans who uses the “OMG UR JUST JEALOUS” cop. He’a a grown man for goodness sakes; grow up. He’s creating worse backlash for Taylor by opening his mouth. Besides, Taylor has always struggled live; the fact that he made a statement tells me that he’a afraid the truth has come out.

    Gail,
    The other artists you mentioned have nothing to do with this. Rodney hasn’t had a hit in some time, and he doesn’t get awards thrown at him although he delivers shakey live performances.

    Also, Rascal Flatts are talented; Gary is better than Taylor. They also pick timeless songs that probably will be remembered someday (“Skin,” “What Hurts The Most,” “I Melt,” “Bless The Broken Road,” “These Days,”) Taylor has yet to deliver anything up to that stature. These guys are excellent performers- throw in explosions, video screens, guitar and fiddle battles, solos and you’ve got yourself one hell of an entertaining show. If Taylor learns to stop throwing her hair around and trying to dance onstage, she could definatly learn something from them. Also, Gary tends to know what works for his limited range live (“Bless The Broken Road, “Why,”These Days.) I think they’ve gotten much better in recent years as well. There are substantial differences between the two- they play off their weaknesses, and know how to put their musicianship, song selection, performance skills and individual strengths together to make up for shortcomings. Taylor does not.

  18. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I agree with K. He is making the situation worse. Many people are emailing him expressing their displeasure with his derogatory comment about American Idol.
    Putting down AI is not a good idea. After all, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson were 2 of 5 artists of all music chosen to be apart of the Michael Jackson tribute at the Grammys. Former American Idol contestants!

  19. TomNo Gravatar

    …does anyone of the somewhat more seasoned folks remember: where there any such discussions about country top stars’ lack of vocal ability taking place in the 90’s or 80’s, too?

  20. Ironic. The only part of Taylor’s performance that worked – “You Belong With Me” – was the awkward part in rehearsals. And the disastrous part of the Grammys was fine earlier.
    Writing in Thoughts

  21. KevinNo Gravatar

    No offense meant to MCC at all. Love that woman. She made my favorite album of all time (Stones in the Road.)

    But she was up against technically better vocalists (Yearwood, Loveless, McBride, McEntire, Tillis, Judd, etc.) and she won with songs that were ditties (“Down at the Twist and Shout”, “I Feel Lucky”, “Passionate Kisses”, “Shut Up and Kiss Me.”)

    Now I love all of those songs, and I love the song Oslin won for even more. I just was making the point that the award has not historically been about being the best vocalist per se.

  22. I am initially disposed to not like Taylor, and her performance cemented that, but we have to keep in mind that she does speak to a large population. No need for personal attacks. Having said that, I thought the Album of the Year field was weak to begin with, so I was resigned to not liking the winner in the first place.

    And Bob beat me to MCC. I had a physical reaction when I read that comparison.

  23. Pingback: Taylor Swift's label chief responds to Grammy criticism

  24. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar

    I agree with Kevin, I am not a fan of Taylor Swift, but i just dont relate to her music. Vocally she isnt talented, but for the demographic she is writing to, she is doing a excellent job.
    Sometimes I think if Taylor Swift was 45 years old her name would be K.T. Oslin. She wasnt the best vocalist(although I do like her more so than Swift) But K.T. wrote songs to nailed directly to her age group adult middle aged woman. She wrote some of the best songs of the 80s and in my opinion the BEST song of the decade with “Hold Me” She won all the awards there were to win and for the late 80s sold very well and topped the charts 4 times in a 4 year span. I am actually curious to see what Taylor matures into?

  25. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    KJC: “I just was making the point that the award has not historically been about being the best vocalist per se.”

    Agreed. “Best Vocalist” really means a combination of vocal ability, the right songs, stage presence, popularity and a host of other things. If it were purely vocal performance, then Martina McBride would win every country music award.

    I fell asleep during Julie/Julia. I think Meryl Streep might have been good. But Amy Adams (?) was so bad as Julie that I’ll never know. I stayed awake during The Blind Side so . . .

  26. GalPalNo Gravatar

    I am so sick of people defending Taylor Swift. The girl cannot sing and you can use every excuse in the book for her performances-she cannot carry a tune. One year ago she was not that well known…low and behold…Kanye West showed up and the rest is history. The industry came rushing to her defense against that mean man and showered her with awards she didn’t deserve. There are true artist out there that deserved to be honored and she is not one of them. She can write but not sing. She is 20 now and I think the tweens will figure out that she is too “old” to be singing about high school angst.

  27. LisaNo Gravatar

    Martina McBride does not have a Grammy.

    Taylor Swift has four. That is just wrong. Nothing more to say.

  28. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “Her album filled with immature teenage stories deserves to stand among the best of the best in every genre of music?”

    I certainly get that Swift’s material isn’t everyone’s taste, but this is just condescending. It’s not as if she was competing with a table full of Impressionistic, philosophically profound works. She was up against “Poker Face” and “Use Somebody.” Swift’s material is primarily about the pursuit of love, which is common across popular music by and for people of all ages. If you think she doesn’t write her stories well, that’s one thing. But suggesting the stories are inherently less worthy because they’re about young people is akin to saying Up doesn’t deserve its Best Picture nod because it’s a “children’s” film.

  29. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Am I the only one who thought Julie & Julia was completely bland?

    Kelly Clarkson jumped him immediately for that.

    Loved KC’s response, and love that the most substantial Idol winner was the one who fired back. I can’t imagine that Swift is happy with Borchetta’s remarks. She’s much smarter than that.

  30. PhillyNo Gravatar

    “If you think she doesn’t write her stories well, that’s one thing. ”

    I don’t think she writes her songs anymore than she sings them.

  31. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Philly: “I don’t think she writes her songs anymore than she sings them.”

    Me: Are you saying she doesn’t write her songs? Or she doesn’t sing them?

  32. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    TS: “Am I the only one who thought Julie & Julia was completely bland?”

    Me: “Julia” was great. “Julie” was awful. I’d say it averaged out to bland.

  33. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    A lot has been said about Taylor’s runaway success, and whether she deserves it. Some of it, let’s be honest, has to do with age. I would suspect that a lot of us, myself included, are probably well past the age demographic of Taylor’s fans, who are likely 13-20 years old; and maybe we can’t exactly relate to what she’s trying to get across any longer.

    What it all boils down to in the end, however, is the Voice. Insofar as Taylor is concerned, I just find her voice to be the most irritating of any female singer in recent memory, country or otherwise. She’s certainly not someone whose I’d sit still for for any extended period of time, and this is just from what I hear on the radio. I’d shudder to hear her live, when she can’t use the same vocal fixes that she uses in a studio.

    As for Scott Borchetta’s defense of her, which to me sounds a bit lame, I think it would do him good to perhaps think about how he all but threw another Big Machine artist, namely Trisha Yearwood, under the bus with the underwhelming promotion done for her 2007 album HEAVEN, HEARTACHE, AND THE POWER OF LOVE. Trisha is someone whose voice, at the very least, holds up to comparisons. Taylor’s isn’t…not yet, and maybe not ever. If she cannot develop her voice a lot faster without relying on ProTools or any of these other studio gimmicks, her career may be over in short order (IMHO).

  34. andieNo Gravatar

    oh god! that was a cheap shot at carrie….no douby…carrie fans must be flipping out…they have to be the most protective fans in country music…

  35. ZackNo Gravatar

    Well, I must say, I am glad for Taylor winning, she’s representing Country music. Albeit, the same way Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina, and others have– through country pop, and unless traditional-sounding country comes back in style, it’ll be that way for a while.

    Now, do i agree with Taylor’s wins? No, at least not all of them. I too wanted Underwood to win, but if Swift HAD to win, i was glad it was for “White Horse.”

    Now, im not happy with a lot of the winners the Grammys chose, but I have to respect the artists who won those awards. Even if I or anyone else does not think they deserve it, these artists put a lot of work into making this music, so their work should be rewarded.

    And regarding the “AI” situation, it is a shame that Underwood is still being bashed for taking the “easy route.” She and the other contestants worked just as hard as those who got into the biz through other methods. They have to get into performing faster than their counterparts, because performing in front of a large audience, if you’ve had no experience is pretty intimedating. Its just so immature for Scott to get involved in this Carrie VS Taylor mess.

    In summary, i agree with Kevin’s article.

    And on the oscar side: I am rooting for Streep, but I do love both Streep and Bullock.

    PS: Did anyone hear that Taylor broke one of her Grammys when posing with them… Is this true? (Just fact-checking!)

  36. chesnuttisNo Gravatar

    I’m not a teenager but I like what Swift is doing.

  37. Stephen H.No Gravatar

    I think part of the problem is, invariably, female singers have the expectation of being technically perfect, while men more often have songs where they aren’t even truly “singing”. Within the 2000s especially, the biggest stars seemed to be aligned into these categories (Carrie/Martina/et al., power vocalists, vs. Kenny/Tim/etc. etc., who are merely passable and whose songs never expect much actual vocal talent). Truly talented singers like Josh Turner end up taking the slow track to the top with every single, as it almost seems a detriment to have a really good voice.

    So how does this relate to Taylor? I think vocally, she is slightly worse live than many male country singers, but received increased criticism just because the expectation of a female singer is different than a male. When she sings songs with melodies that will only sound good with a great singer, it doesn’t sound good. My two favorites from her were “Tim McGraw” and “Picture to Burn”, and in both of those songs the melody/vocal talent is secondary (what with, for example, the spoken word/shouted chorus in “Picture”). She needs to learn what works best with her voice and go with that … oh, and get “Fearless” off the charts permanently (the “I don’t know how it gets better than this” line is the type of note-changing she should avoid, and I swear I can hear the auto-tune effect in most of her utterances of the word “fearless”)

  38. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    I think that differing expectations for male/female vocalists is an interesting concept. Certainly men aren’t expected to show as much range and definitely aren’t expected to belt it out.

    But they are expected to stay on key and in tune. Swift’s vocal performances don’t sound slightly worse than male country singers do to me. The gap is far wider than that.

    I’d describe her vocals as unprofessional. There’s such a difference between the stage she’s on and what comes out of her mouth that it’s scary.

    I’ve never had a problem with her music’s content, even though it doesn’t personally interest me. Every age group should have music that speaks to them. I disagree that it’s comparable to the movie Up, which has layers of mature meaning while nominally being a children’s film. It’s more like a John Hughes movie (which is hardly faint praise from my generation.)

    I just can’t get past the fact that she can’t sing. It is actually painful to listen to her. She’s very charming, though. The three seconds she’s on screen saying “I love hype!” in that new Valentine’s Day movie trailer is my favorite thing she’s up to lately. I’d definitely watch her in a movie. As long as it’s not a musical!

  39. chesnuttisNo Gravatar

    Oh I do think Swift’s live performances have been vocal disasters, but her voice is ok on her records. I assume it has been cleaned up considerably in the studio. I actually prefer her voice to those of some country singers, though I admit she is hardly Trisha Yearwood. Anyway, yeah, Swift can’t sing – but a lot of country stars, including country superstars, can’t sing.

  40. ARWNo Gravatar

    I still wonder whether Taylor knows she can’t sing? Her label knows just like we do. And since they do, then why in the heck do they keep putting her on stage to fail? It might be her decision and if so then she either a.) doesn’t care or b.) truely believes, despite all evidence to the contrary, she can hold a note.

    It’s incredibly odd when you think about it.

  41. TanNo Gravatar

    Taylor can sing, ARW. She can sing pretty darn well… That’s why she had a best-selling album! Duh…

  42. ARWNo Gravatar

    …as to marality…

    Personally, I don’t begrudge anyone for making money. The more the better. As long as they do it lawfully and honestly. Most people are this way. The problem now for Taylor is general music fans are convinced it’s not “honest”. (she is that bad of a singer.) If these same fans ever question her songwriting, as opposed to just her singing, then the industry backlash could be enormous.

  43. ARWNo Gravatar

    “Taylor can sing, ARW. She can sing pretty darn well… That’s why she had a best-selling album! Duh…”

    Logic 101, eh?????

  44. ARWNo Gravatar

    “Taylor can sing, ARW. She can sing pretty darn well… That’s why she had a best-selling album! Duh…”

    LOL…Logic 101, eh?????

  45. GAILNo Gravatar

    K….stop bossing! I’m entitled to write my opinion just like you! Rascal Flatts do have a problem singing live and on many occasions. Just because you love them doesn’t mean everyone does. They came to my town and were awful. People calling the radio station and complaining about how bad their live performance was. I’ve read many reviews of Gary’s voice not being up to par! I don’t recall saying anything bad about the songs they sing, but their CDs are so much different than their live voices!

  46. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “I disagree that it’s comparable to the movie Up, which has layers of mature meaning while nominally being a children’s film. It’s more like a John Hughes movie (which is hardly faint praise from my generation.)”

    I agree, and I wouldn’t draw many direct comparisons between the two. I just reached for an easy analogy (since the post already mentions Oscar stuff) to make the point that dismissing things based on their apparent age bracket is silly. Somebody unfamiliar with the Pixar track record might assume, Looking at Up‘s imaginary reality where houses can fly by balloon power and wild birds desire processed chocolate, that the movie is just a kid’s fantasy film, and not open themselves to appreciating its full quality of craft as that (and as more). (Off-topic, fantastic movie. Except for the big action scene at the end.)

  47. ClaudiaNo Gravatar

    Taylor’s lack of vocal prowess certainly isn’t a new problem. Why, oh why, didn’t someone from her label get her some coaching as soon as it became evident? You mean to tell me there are no vocal coaches in Nashville? She would benefit greatly from steady work with a knowledgeable coach. It’s not too late. Someone at her label needs to exhibit some common sense. Instead of bashing AI singers, Borchetta needs to give his star some assistance.

  48. KNo Gravatar

    Gail,

    Maybe I wouldn’t be so “bossy” if you stopped repeating yourself long enough to respect the opinions of others, regardless of whether you agree with them.

    You are extremely repetitive, and your posts come off disrespectful and immature.

    That being said, millions of people do think they’re talented, regardless of whether Gary isn’t the strongest vocalist. They are excellent performers, songwriters, producers and very gifted musicians. All their other talents are strong enough to make up for their vocal shortcomings; I don’t believe Taylor has been the business long enough to learn how to balance her shortcomings to make a better combnation.

    I think the fact that RF has been around for ten years, while continuing to have some the biggest selling albums, songs and tours in the nation speaks for itself.

    Respect my opinion and I will move on. If not, I will continue to post.

  49. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    K, you aren’t completely blameless. You are coming across as condescending, whether you intend do (I thinkyou do) or not.

  50. KNo Gravatar

    Stephen,

    I could care less if people disagree with anything I say. Everyone has different opinions, and I believe I’ve been respectful of that. I think there’s a major differences between giving an opinion and defending it and being disrepectful and not letting anything go. If I chose to defend them, that doesn’t mean I’m trying to shove my opinion on anyone.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have brought them into the discussion, and it probably did make me see hyprocritical, but I also think there’s a valuable larger point in comparing the two.

    Neither have strong voices, but I believe Taylor could benfit from learning better performance skills, stronger song selection and stronger musicanship, learning to craft more mature naterial. There are obvious maturity and experiences differences here, but I think it’s relevant.

    This makes perfect sense to me, but I do understand how it could come off differently to some others. I just think buliding up strengths is something weaker vocalists should learn to do, but that’s just my opinion.
    Anyway, all I ask is that if you don’t agree, please be respectful. If my posts really do make you that angry, Gail, I would recommend not reading them. I’ve heard this “they came to my town and were terrible” story a dozen times from you; seriously? Makes you come off like you’re so desperate to get yourself heard that you cannot come up with anything else.

  51. MarcNo Gravatar

    Great post. Fair and Balanced. Completely unlike Fox News for sure.

  52. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Marc: “Great post. Fair and Balanced. Completely unlike Fox News for sure.”

    Agreed. I had crab cakes for dinner too.

  53. GavinNo Gravatar

    Comparing Taylor to mediocre vocalists such as Madonna and the like really isn’t a fair comparison. If Taylor was mediocre we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The real agonizing part is that I could go on You Tube and find dozens of little girls singing her songs better than she does which is kind of sad and funny at the same time. With all these accolades pouring down on her the spot light will only get bigger and the criticism will only get worse. As her songs mature along with her will she be able to find a voice to carry them on a live stage?

  54. Mike M.No Gravatar

    Gees, this post is getting its fair share of comments. Maybe if it keeps up the pace, it will surpass the infamous Halfway to Hazard “Daisy” review. (I don’t know if that generated the most comments you ever got on a post, but I remember it causing a big stir.)

    As for the topic at hand, I think the biggest problem for Taylor Swift is Scott Borchetta. I think most people are generally aware of the fact that Swift struggles live. Even if the non-country music fans don’t see her concerts or her performances on the country award shows, they have to remember her duet with Miley Cyrus at the grammys last year. It can’t be a surprise to that many people that Taylor Swift struggles singing live. By making excuses for her vocals, Scott B. looks weak, and is trying to make an illogical argument. And, honestly…I don’t think that many people care about Swift’s vocals.

    Let me explain that last comment…I think the biggest thing that Taylor has going for her is the fact that she writes her own music, and is steadily improving as a songwriter. Her music is catchy, and songs like “White Horse” and “Fifteen” show that she can be poignant and intelligent. Plus, the songs seem like they genuinely come from her heart, and she comes across as a grounded, sweet human being. Yeah, her live vocals are worse than Bobcat Goldthwait’s (just kidding, Taylor fans). But, as long as she can cover up her vocal deficiencies in the studio, and craft good music that reflects who she is as an artist, then I think she will always be around in Nashville. Even if it might eventually be as a songwriter helping other artists out.

    However, Scott B. is making the worst possible mistake right now with his comments. I think if he’d just ignore the criticism, more people would be willing to just let the vocals go, and just listen to her music, like people do with other artists in country music who have “pitch problems.” Defending Swift in this manner is just going to draw more attention to the problem, which in turn could cause more people to suffer from “Swift Fatigue”. I also think that Borchetta is making a mistake by mentioning American Idol, because some folks are going to assume that the comment was a shot at Carrie Underwood. And, as this board knows, hell hath no fury like a Carrie Underwood fan scorned.

    In conclusion, Borchetta should praise Swift for who she is, and not defend her for what she isn’t. And that’s all I’ve got.

    (Yikes…I wrote THAT MUCH on Taylor Swift!!!)

  55. lisaNo Gravatar

    “Gavin says:

    The real agonizing part is that I could go on You Tube and find dozens of little girls singing her songs better than she does which is kind of sad and funny at the same time.”

    -Maybe that’s what her fans like so much about her. When they sing her songs they can feel good about themselves that they sound just as good or better than award-winning Taylor Swift. She gives hope to tone-deaf girls everywhere.

  56. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Taylor is the teflon star. All the criticism is not going to stick, or put a dent in her career. She has tapped into a previously-ignored demographic, and they are likely to stay with her as she continues to write songs about her life experiences, which will reflect their life experiences, for many years ahead.

    She also understands music videos, viral media, and everything else that is a daily facet of a young person’s existence in 2010.

    But yes, I pray her vocals improve as she matures. That would make her success more palatable for so many of us, I think.

  57. Paul DennisNo Gravatar

    The criticism of Borchetta is spot on. Instead of defending her limited vocals , Borchetta should be hiring a good vocal coach to work with her. She will never be a Barbara Streisand or Connie Smith, but with proper coaching she could be much better than currently is the case.

    Swift appears to be quite bright so I expect that if Borchetta doesn’t do it, she’ll figure it out for herself

  58. GavinNo Gravatar

    No one expects Taylor to belt out songs like Carrie Underwood or Martina McBride but most do expect a professional on key performance. Taylor is almost savant like in marketing herself. She’s bright, charming, attractive, and driven. She’s one of the hardest workers in the business. She has one deficiency, an easily correctable one at that, which will continue to haunt her if she doesn’t do something about it. What was once a mole hill has begun to escalate into something larger. Taylor can thank Borchetta for that.

  59. chesnuttisNo Gravatar

    Taylor has a lot going for her. Her vocals are not one of those things, and like the posters above, I think she should work to improve them. I think better vocals might be wise if she wishes to have long term success.

  60. vpNo Gravatar

    Well this was a long read, but I’m glad this topic got it’s own discussion. Kevin you had some very valid points in your post. Everyone does if you are a fan of hers or not. But I think evryone can agree she does not have the best voice, just some think it is worse then others.

    I do not agree with her winning any awards that includes the word VOCAL, the criteria is right out there for them to vote accordingly, and with competition she had for all those awards everyone knows, she was given them strickly on sales, and her popularity this past year. Not to mention the Kanye thing really came at the right moment for her and did nothing but help.

    So she can write some fairytale songs, but what will come with her next album now that she officially an adult will she up her game or will she still be living in highschool? As her fans get older their tastes will change, and if she wants to keep them she will need to conform.

    I do think she was smart with markting which help put a mask over the bad singing for some. Seeing how smart she is I don’t think she will be happy with Borcetta at all for saying what he did. Especially if she really does respect and look up to Carrie as she proclaimed in the past.

    Borcetta made a flat out swipe at Carrie Underwood for everyone to see, and that is just wrong in the country music industry, who usually tend to stick together and support eachother. Also I think he tried to do this so called damage control because the negative talk about Taylor has always been around, but even more so since the she won the CMA FVOTY. He openly admitted that his artist isn’t a good singer (loser) and first he tried blaming it on technical difficulties, then did say basically that she isn’t the best vocalist, he needs to stick to one story.

    Last WTG Kelly Clarkson, for striking back in a big and successful way! Her stand for Carrie was subtle enough that the message got across, and she played just the right amount of a smart a** to make him look very small. Not to mention she also basically said Taylor can’t sing. Well done her.

  61. Paul DennisNo Gravatar

    Taylor Swift has to perform live. Remember this – for any performing artist, the real money is everywhere except in recording sales. Yes, her first few discs have sold so well that she’s bound to have made some money off them, but even so, most of that money has come from her songwriting royalties.

    Live concerts are where the real money is, so Borchetta is correct in pushing her out there BUT he needs to improve her live vocals. To do this he must get her a vocal coach. With the amount of money at stake he can afford to hire the best of the best, whomever that may be. Anyone (except those with certain physical limitations, usually related to hearing) can learn to sing and it’s about time that she did

  62. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I think it’s assuming a lot to say Borchetta’s American Idol remark was intentionally aimed at Carrie Underwood. The show is extremely pervasive culturally, and has arguably turned us all into a nation of singing critics. And he’s right that success on the show often seems based on who can hit the big notes (see Carrie, Kelly, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Clay Aiken, Tamyra Gray, LaToya London, etc.). It was fair game for Kelly to respond to the comment, but I read it more as an unintentionally offensive remark than a bona fide “swipe.”

  63. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I don’t know if it was necessarily intentional, but I do think it was an incredible misstep on his part. If he has any kind of a pulse on what’s going on in popular country music right now (constant feuds between Swift and Underwood fans), he should have predicted what people would infer from his comments. So, it’s kind of hard for me to believe that he didn’t mean the “swipe”, though I will concede that I’m only grossly assuming.

  64. vpNo Gravatar

    I disagree with you Dan he knew exactly what he was talking about, there are many different ways of talking about a technical singer the referring to AI. It was and obvious swipe, as Carrie was be praised for her vocals, and versitility on the MJ Tribute at the Grammys.

    Also you have as of late leaned towards Swift, but always away from Carrie so you may read it differently.

  65. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I don’t know that the Underwood-Swift feuds are much of a thing outside of a gaggle of polarized fans on the internet. They could be, but I haven’t heard about it anywhere else.

    “It was and obvious swipe, as Carrie was be praised for her vocals, and versitility on the MJ Tribute at the Grammys.”

    I didn’t read any press that singled Carrie’s part in the tribute out (though I’m sure there was some somewhere). She had a relatively low profile at the Grammys this year, and I doubt she was at the forefront of Borchetta’s mind. The performances Taylor’s was compared unfavorably to in the press were mostly Lady Gaga’s, Beyonce’s, and Pink’s. Not to mention that Jennifer Hudson was in the MJ tribute, too. If that event is what set up the comparison (which, again, is quite an assumption), he was probably referring to them both.

    I think the incident is not so much “Taylor v. Carrie” as it is “Taylor v. Every Singer Ever on American Idol.” Especially since Underwood has long since moved past being only associated with Idol.

    Sigh. The things we argue about.

  66. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I don’t know that the Underwood-Swift feuds are much of a thing outside of a gaggle of polarized fans on the internet. They could be, but I haven’t heard about it anywhere else.

    You have a point. I don’t live among a lot of people who even care about country music either way. So, the feud I see is strictly on the internet.

  67. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    The feud exists, but it’s also turned into Pop vs Country. My pop station loves Taylor and always comments on how “Taylor has taken Carrie’s crown as the country darling!” (KHTS-FM) while my country station stated (post-Grammy) “Maybe now that Swift messed up, we can stop pretending like she’s anything more than a songwriter” (KUSS-FM). My pop station mentioned Taylor’s performance on the Grammy’s, but instead chose to focus on the MJ tribute, saying all were fantastic and they were surprised Carrie did as well as she did considering “she’s all country” (which really isn’t even remotely true).

  68. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    Funny, but when Borchetta made that comparison to American Idol, my first thought was that he’d slipped back into making his case to industry voters for picking Swift over Underwood for Female Vocalist.

    I really, really don’t like Scott Borchetta, perhaps unfairly, but it all goes back to that Trisha Yearwood book from 1993 that documented the making of Hearts in Armor. Borchetta was a vocal and obnoxious critic of the album within MCA because it didn’t continue in the vein of “She’s in Love With the Boy.”

    Obviously, it’s bygones with Trisha, since she followed him to Big Machine. He certainly proved he’s gotten no better at marketing great albums in the fifteen years that passed, though.

  69. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Too bad some of the Swift and Underwood fans get caught up in a pointless feud when nothing I’ve seen suggests the two principals have anything but respect for each other. Sigh, indeed.

  70. I’m right in the middle of reading Get Hot or Go Home, and haven’t gotten to the part about Borchetta criticizing Trisha’s second album. I’ll eagerly await that part. Even though it’s very out-dated now, it was near the top of my list of must-read country music books, and I’m really happy with it. The author truly did her homework, and while she came off first as a bit of an elitist who doesn’t much understand country music or its fans, it’s a fascinating read. I highly recommend it to any country music fan, not just Trisha Yearwood fans.

    I didn’t mean to hi-jack the thread either, and I do have a comment on this post. I think your sentiments about Swift are very much in line with mine, Kevin. I said before the Grammy’s that I didn’t really have an opinion of her winning the non-country categories. I can’t see how her success can harm country music. I don’t see how it helps expand the genre’s fanbase either, so I stay fairly neutral to her success. The girl’s talent is undeniable though – songwriting and stage presence anyway.

    What I don’t understand about the Swift nay-sayers is why so many think she’s going to the death of the genre. Love the repetition about country music surviving here. I don’t think Taylor Swift is or will ever be powerful enough an influence to wipe out the roots of country music. Elvis didn’t. Dolly Parton didn’t. Barbara Mandrell and Ronnie Milsap and all the other Urban Cowboy-era singers didn’t, Garth Brooks didn’t, Shania Twain didn’t …

  71. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    …he’s right that success on the show often seems based on who can hit the big notes (see Carrie, Kelly, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Clay Aiken, Tamyra Gray, LaToya London, etc.).

    “Seems” being the operative word. This is a surface level look at American Idol, and Borchetta is old enough and wise enough to know better than to throw out blanket statements, especially when they apply to Swift’s peers (and friends, I might add).

    It’s a bit of backwards logic to point out the most technically proficient Idols as evidence that the show is about technical proficiency: of course the show is, at a base level, about technical proficiency (shouldn’t the music industry be as well?) – but the artists that make it to the top are above and beyond technically proficient. All the Idols you’ve cited peaked with or, at the very least, delivered and were praised for emotionally stirring performances on the show: “Angels Brought Me here,” “Tracks of My Tears”/”Mad World,” “I Who Have Nothing,” and to throw in one of the more substantive Idols, “Summertime.” Not to mention that the very premise of the show is to allow the public to choose and become invested in a recording artist. Ten years from now, I’m not going to remember that Elliot Yamin sang a pitch perfect rendition of “A Song For You.” I’m going to remember how moved I was by his voice and heartfelt performances, how interesting, humble and kind I found him, and much I wanted him to succeed.

    It’s way too easy to take Idol at face value, and blindly criticize its artists. Those who do so publicly and shamelessly, like Borchetta, lose a little bit of my respect.

  72. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I agree with you about that, Tara. The show has always been as much about star quality as pure singing. I don’t mean to sound like I’m defending Borchetta too much, because I think he’s handled this the completely wrong way. He needs to generate understanding and acceptance of Taylor’s shortcomings, not yell at us for noticing them.

    That said, it’s undeniable that the judges do often gravitate toward “big” singers. There’s a reason Kris Allen and David Cook were initially considered underdogs in their respective seasons.

  73. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    That said, it’s undeniable that the judges do often gravitate toward “big” singers. There’s a reason Kris Allen and David Cook were initially considered underdogs in their respective seasons.

    They sure do, but my defense is more of the voters and the artists themselves than it is of the Idol machine – though the three are obviously intertwined.

  74. Hard TimesNo Gravatar

    I couldn’t help thinking about the whole Taylor Swift controversy while watching Carrie Underwood sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl yesterday. Thank God it wasn’t Swift. Imagine the crimes she could commit against that song.

  75. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Carrie’s performance wasn’t stellar. But Borchetta could learn from her response: “we’ll get ‘em next time!”

  76. ZackNo Gravatar

    I really, really don’t like Scott Borchetta, perhaps unfairly, but it all goes back to that Trisha Yearwood book from 1993 that documented the making of Hearts in Armor. Borchetta was a vocal and obnoxious critic of the album within MCA because it didn’t continue in the vein of “She’s in Love With the Boy.”

    Obviously, it’s bygones with Trisha, since she followed him to Big Machine. He certainly proved he’s gotten no better at marketing great albums in the fifteen years that passed, though.

    …. Sounds like a real jerk if you ask me.

    Regarding American Idol, I dont understand why people feel the need to bash the contestants, they are equally talented as their counterparts; they just achieved fame in a different manner!

  77. ZackNo Gravatar

    forgot to put that second part in italics, sorry Kevin.

  78. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I was surprised at how weak Carrie’s Anthem was, since I know she’s sung it well before. Case of the nerves? Personally, I don’t mind when people just lip-synch that song on the Super Bowl. There’s so many things that can go wrong in that environment, though I guess there’s something to be said for the thrill of knowing it’s a live vocal.

  79. KNo Gravatar

    “I was surprised at how weak Carrie’s Anthem was, since I know she’s sung it well before. Case of the nerves? Personally, I don’t mind when people just lip-synch that song on the Super Bowl. There’s so many things that can go wrong in that environment, though I guess there’s something to be said for the thrill of knowing it’s a live vocal.”

    I agree, Dan. I find it sad that people are tearing down Carrie for not giving the best performance- it’s the Superbowl for goodness sakes! Everyone knows she’s a gifted vocalist- she won American Idol, and 99% of her live performances are perfect- people feel the need to point out that 1% every single time it happens.

    Carrie’s anthem can be chalked up to nerves- this is a case of not using that as an excuse, but a valid reason. Carrie was the first artist to sing the anthem live in years- I think she deserves more credit than she has been getting for going out in front of the biggest audience of her career and delivering the best she could. The only terrible note was the last one- if that hadn’t happened, I dout she would be getting as much negativity. To be fair, she did find the note at the end, and someone had posted that she was being told to hurry up because “the jets were coming.” The fact that she was able to compose herself to finish is still impressive. I just hate that people could be using this as a reason to think she’s a sub-par talent, when she is so far above average.

  80. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Carrie’s anthem can be chalked up to nerves- this is a case of not using that as an excuse, but a valid reason.

    Nah, I don’t think we can blame it on nerves. She looked pretty joyful when she finished and as she walked off the field. Plus, her reaction today after hearing back the performance indicates she’s surprised at how off she sounded. It happens. I still give her mad props for singing live, given the track record.

  81. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    I don’t think it can be chalked up to nerves either. Carrie’s had too many high profile appearances to be unnerved. But same goes for Queen Latifah. And the Who too. Bum notes – and a good time – all around.

  82. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    Carrie got too caught up in the moment, methinks. She did phenomenally well at rehearsals:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U-YRHl2X8Q

    so seeing her fall flat live was very disappointing. Oh well, at least she recognized her faults.

  83. KNo Gravatar

    “Nah, I don’t think we can blame it on nerves. She looked pretty joyful when she finished and as she walked off the field. Plus, her reaction today after hearing back the performance indicates she’s surprised at how off she sounded. It happens. I still give her mad props for singing live, given the track record.”

    I still think it was possibly a combo of nerves and maybe she couldn’t hear herself? She’s knocked the anthem out of the park many times- this was just a bad night. Although I respect Carrie for singing live, I can honestly see why it is recomended that artists lipsynch- it’s obviously pretty easy for a technically proficent singer to sound really off in this setting.

    It’s too bad that her worst performance had to be at one of the biggest appearances of her career though. She’s an excellent talent, and this was not an acurate representation of it in any way. Does anyone have the comments Carrie made after she heard the performance back?

    As for the topic at hand, I’ve recently read Naiomi Judd’s comments defending Taylor. I think it’s ironic that no one throwing out these defenses mentions her vocals…which seems to be the core of the issue for most. We know she’s a good role model and a decent writer/performer. Rehashing that is not doing her any favors.

  84. SDNo Gravatar

    ^ I think the point to be gotten from Naomi Judd is that if the legends of country music can accept Taylor Swift as an ambassador for country music with grace, then so can the rest of us.

    K, this is an honest question. I’m really not trying to be a jerk about it. But why does this whole ‘Taylor Swift wins awards when she’s not a good singer’ matter so much to you? I can understand that it might be irritating, but you keep dredging up new attacks against her. (And just to be clear: I’m not an uber-Taylor fan. I think her vocals could use a tremendous lot of work, but I think she’s very charming as a person).

  85. KNo Gravatar

    SD,

    No offense taken with your comment. This subject really doesn’t mean much to me- my issues lie more with the Grammy’s rewarding Taylor when her wins are very premature. I don’t believe her talent lives up to the hype. I have nothing against her, and I certaintly wouldn’t want to come off as though I was attacking her.

    Some of my earlier comments were a bit harsh, but I don’t think my reaction was any worse than several other posters here. It doesn’t mean I worded everything in the best manner, but I mostly posted just to air my opinion- as everyone else has.

    Several of posts were also veered off-topic, which contributed to multiple posts here (Carrie & Flatts contributed to several topics). I always read new comments on a lot of the threads- if one strikes my interest, I might respond, or might not.

    Hope that answers your question…

  86. Stephen - MainstreamNo Gravatar

    What bugs me about this, I’ll be honest, is that everyone is running to Taylor’s aid, but when Carrie was questioned for being vanilla, people pushed her down. Oh how the tides changed…

  87. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I watched Julie and Julia yesterday and I really enjoyed it.

  88. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Even the Julie parts?

  89. GalPalNo Gravatar

    Re-reading this it is a moral issue. Taylor was given “singing” awards which is a travesty because she cannot sing! Taylor wasn’t nominated for 1 Grammy a year ago and then Kanye showed up-the poor little girl was trounced on and we should rally around her. What a joke! Even Scott defending her sounded just like a troll! The artists who actually could sing didn’t win-that is a moral issue my friend!

  90. chesnuttisNo Gravatar

    Unlike GalPal I do not think this is a moral issue at all. Who wins the grammy awards has virtually nothing to do with morality.

    I don’t think Taylor winning over superior vocalists is some sort of moral issue either. I don’t think superior vocalists have any right to winning a pop music award: its long been clear that popularity of the singer often factors into who wins these things. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Perhaps Swift winning shows that the voters are misguided, that the award is mislabeled, or whatnot. But I don’t think morality has anything to do with it.

  91. ObserverNo Gravatar

    If any country music fans out there thought that Taylor Swift was going to prove to be some kind of ambassador for country music, bringing country music to Yankees in the North and other parts of the world (England, Australia, Asia, Europe), then think again.
    Pop radio versions of “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” are SANITIZED.
    By “sanitized”, I don’t mean that dirty words have been removed. No, I mean something much more insidious and insulting to the world of country music: the country-signature instruments of banjo and fiddle are removed from the mix. That’s right; our beloved sounds of banjo and fiddle are treated like dirt and thrown-out with the trash. Meanwhile, the over-driven electric guitars are mixed-in extra loud, and with a multitude of pop/psychedelic effects such as digital delay, reverb, phaser, flanger, wah, etc.
    You may be thinking “what’s the big deal? Everyone remixes their songs for different audiences.” And to that I say: REALLY? Did George Strait, or Garth Brooks, or Patsy Cline ever do such a thing? Remember, I’m talking about SANITIZING the mix: removing all traces of that “hill-billy sound” of banjo and fiddle, not simply placing emphasis on alternate instruments. How about Loretta Lynn or Hank Williams, Dwight Yoakum, Travis Tritt, Tammy Wynette, Pam Tillis? Did Randy Travis, or Clint Black, Alison Krauss? How about Sugarland or Emmylou Harris or Shania Twain? Did ANY of these artists ever produce a song with a distinct country sound, only to subsequently sterilize it in order to serve it to the rest of the world?
    I think that 2009 will go down in history as the most embarrassing ever for country music, whose fans and awards institutions lavished every conceivable prize on someone who then turned around and spit in their faces while giving them the middle finger.
    You could say that “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” aren’t country songs anyway. And you’d be right, but both, (in their country music radio versions) are saturated with banjo and fiddle to give a distinct country-sounding atmosphere. And as such were sold to country music fans and country music radio as country songs. Just listen to the intro to “Love Story”: it’s all banjos. You’d really have to go out of your way to remix this song to remove all traces of country twang. But that’s exactly what she’s done. It’s as if she said “I’m really embarrassed by that hick-sounding banjo and fiddle and all. And I really want to sell my records to Yankees and Europeans and the like and that hill-billy sound makes them barf. So let’s just get rid of it!”
    She comes off as a manipulative, conniving, back-stabber. A chameleon that just used the country music fans, country music radio and awards institutions to gain her initial popularity and build up her bank account so that she could then move on to “bigger and better” things.

  92. Cutting the TreacleNo Gravatar

    Observer: ” . . . .”

    Me: Manifesto!

  93. chesnuttisNo Gravatar

    Oh! The poor country fans who have to suffer the indignity of an artist putting banjos on the records for those fans who like that and removing the banjos for those fans who don’t.

    And that Taylor Swift – So evil for trying to modify her music a bit so as to make it appeal to different groups.

    And if Swift “used” country fans to go on to bigger and better things, I say “good for swift.” First off, I applaud ambition and wanting to make the most of yourself. So good for Swift for trying to be something more than just a country star, for trying to be better than just a country star. And second, as for the fans who were “used,” well, so what? If they bought her album because they liked it, they got what they paid for and really have nothing to complain about.

    All country singers who are trying to sell you a product are “using” you to make money. Nothing different than what Swift is doing. And country fans are “using” the singers for entertainment, too.

  94. @Observer: Shania Twain did re-mix her songs, essentially ‘sterilizing’ them to remove the more country elements. Her 2001 album Up, had three separate discs, with three different mixes to the same 19 tracks. The green disc was the ‘country’ mix while the red disc was a ‘pop’ mix and there was even another version, sold in Europe, with a blue disc housing a ‘world’ mix to the tracks. And several of the singles from her Come On Over album had many remixes that were released to markets outside country radio as well.

    While I don’t defend Taylor Swift, or anyone else, removing the instruments that define country music, or removing the twang from their recordings, Swift (or even Shania) isn’t the first and likely won’t be the last to try such tactics to make their music more universally appealing. Just saying.

  95. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar

    Now if only Ms Swift would re-mix them in such a manner as to remove the vocals !

  96. KevinNo Gravatar

    Paul,

    That’s an early candidate for line of the year!

  97. ObserverNo Gravatar

    I was reluctant to include Shania Twain in my post, and clearly should not have. So I stand corrected.
    Another point needs clarification: In the first sentence I don’t mean to imply that country music is new to those parts of the world, but rather that Taylor Swift is reaching a new YOUNGER audience everywhere, including those places. What country music deserves is an artist who has the guts and integrity to present his or her music in a consistent manner to the world.

  98. EmgeeNo Gravatar

    Uh oh. Sandra Bullock DID win Best Actress. Congratulations, Ms. Bullock. Well deserved.

  99. GalPalNo Gravatar

    Enough of Taylor-this can no longer be a feature. Are there no other country artists out there?

  100. Country fanNo Gravatar

    How can this continue? In all reality, Taylor doesn’t have 1/10 the talent of the other entertainers she was nominated with, so HOW CAN SHE WIN??? I realize it is a popularity vote, but can all those people not hear correctly? Just because she is young and pretty, that is enough? She can’t even sing!!! Compare her to Carrie Underwood…not even close in my book, Carrie can really sing her heart out. Taylor, not so much. Oh well, I just hope this “fad” is over soon and we can get back to giving the awards to deserving singers. Maybe a little harsh, but it is getting really old.

  101. PatrickNo Gravatar

    She should’ve just kept calling herself pop

  102. It’s hard to believe she was even a contender! But you’re right…country music will survive.