Kelly Clarkson Responds to Taylor Swift’s Label Chief

Uh oh. Kelly Clarkson is pissed. In an attempt to defend Taylor Swift from recent criticisms of her melody-challenged Grammy performance, the head of her label, Scott Borchetta, took a swipe at American Idol and it’s singers:

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 fired back on her blog:

Wow …..Dear Scott Borchetta,

I understand defending your artist obviously because I have done the same in the past for artists I like, including Taylor, so you might see why its upsetting to read you attacking American Idol for producing simply vocalists that hit ‘the high notes’. Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well. Every artist has a bad performance or two and that is understandable, but throwing blame will not make the situation at hand any better. I have been criticized left and right for having shaky performances before (and they were shaky) and what my manager or label executives say to me and the public is “I’ll kick butt next time” or “every performance isn’t going to be perfect” ……I bring this up because you should take a lesson from these people and instead of lashing out at other artists (that in your ‘humble’ opinion lack true artistry), you should simply take a breath and realize that sometimes things won’t go according to plan or work out and that’s okay.

Sincerely,

One of those contestants from American Idol who only made it because of her high notes ;)

Ha ha. I love me some Kelly when she’s pissed!

There’s been a lot of criticism in the past few days of Taylor Swift’s off-key performance at Sunday’s Grammys.  Folks who’ve heard Taylor sing live (watch any awards show, and there she is) realize that, although Taylor is undoubtedly a talented songwriter, she couldn’t sing her way out of a paper bag if her life depended on it. Praise be the autotune.

The fact that her live performances suck really has no bearing on whether her album, Fearless deserved to win the big prize or not.

Having said that, I gotta say I’m on Team Kelly in this argument. Dude, defend Taylor all you want, but if you’ve got to take swipes at others, there is a problem with your argument.

The irony here? Borchetta was one of the judges on the latest season of the CMT and 19 Entertainment competition reality show, Can You Duet?. Country duos competed for the grand prize–a deal with Borchetta’s record label. I could dig it up, but take my word for it–there was plenty o’ talk about the importance of good sangin’ in those critiques…

  • kneipho

    Rock on, Kelly!

  • hazuki

    Haha love Kelly! Yeah this isn’t american idol, i’m pretty sure I was watching the grammys!

  • jack5791

    Oh, DEFINITELY Team Kelly on this one. Glad she has enough balls to stick up for what is right. And honestly, anyone who has the audacity to even try to defend Taylor Swift as a singer, and then take a hit at a show that has produced some of the biggest starts of the decade is absolutely out of their mind. To win Idol, you actually have to be great, which is totally opposite from the music industry where you don’t have to be great to get a recording contract.

    GO KELLY!

  • http://www.twitter.com/CrazyCircle CrazyCircle

    Yay Kelly! She was able to state some of what I was thinking…and the guy might actually read it~unlike the comments being left at Huffington.

    That being said, thank God for American Idol giving us Kelly and Adam and their glorious high notes!!

  • http://Twitter.com/insanoshano insanoshano

    So Kelly Clarkson wins every time. Hands DOWN! So proud of her for defending American Idol.

  • sma11ie

    I said my peace in the headlines thread, but suffice it to say– Team Kelly times a thousand.

    Dude, defend Taylor all you want, but if you’ve got to take swipes at others, there is a problem with your argument.

    Well said, MJ. Good catch on the Can You Duet link, too. Scott Borchett is looking more and more like an @$$.

  • merrymary

    Go Kelly!! Love that girl more every time she opens her mouth(and blog).
    Hey….. I would love to hear myself sing with autotune…..maybe it would even be listenable.

  • Belle

    I couldn’t agree more with Kelly and I couldn’t agree more with you, MJ, I love Kelly when a wasp has bitten her.

    That said, this isn’t Taylor’s first shaky performance. Far from it. She was all over the place on the show I saw her in in the UK and her vocals on all the TV shows she appeared on here were shocking. She is the walking testament of why many songwriters should give their songs to people who can actually sing them. Her performance was embarrassing and I felt embarrassed for her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=227878099299 CathyMK

    I love it when Kelly speaks her mind. So, Mr. Borchetta, are you trying to tell me that Taylor has sound issues every time she sings on TV, while AI never does? Yeah, okay, sure, LOL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=587900002&ref=name cruzceleste

    I didnt agree with her in the “fired my staff on stage” debacle… but this blog is so good… Totally Team Kelly on this one…

  • dante

    Good for Kelly!!!!! I love her so much! A class act with balls.

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    I’m a big fan of Kelly and I agree that Mr. Borchetta’s comments about the show are uncalled for.

    But I also concur that AI is extremely lacking in artistry. The judges give much emphasis on irrelevant technicalities such as the voice and not on the important things such as phrasing, musicianship, and the ability to interpret lyrics. Anyway, I’m just glad we have artists like Kelly who does not only possess a remarkable range, but also an innate ability to communicate the song so well.

  • amiroamor

    Thank God for Kelly Clarkson, now if Carrie said that (not that she would EVER do that) it would be another story..

  • yeahyeahsure

    I like Taylor just fine. I think she’s a great songwriter and entertainer. Having said that, her manager dug himself a fine hole by targeting Idol who has discovered artists who can do everything that Taylor does and MORE – write, entertain, play instruments AND sing.

    Go Kelly!

  • OnePlusSix

    I read Borchetta’s comments and all I can say is “give me a break”…sound issues?? I’ve yet to hear her sing on any live performance where she has been good. Sorry but the girl must continuously have sound issues. Just my humble opinion but then I guess others are hearing what I hear. I’ll give her credit, she has eye appeal and can entertain, but not sing well. So, if it’s entertainment (sets, props, dancers, etc) with a low quality singing then it’s Taylor, if you’re looking for high quality singing then I suggest you look elsewhere in Kelly’s direction and others. Kudos for Kelly Clarkson’s braveness on calling him out! Bravo.

  • jumpstart

    God love Kelly. She’s a little firecracker and I absolutely adore her.

  • tiger92

    Oh Lord! I love Kelly Clarkson!

    She is so right. After we watched Taylor on the Grammys my husband said- “She wouldn’t make it past the judges on American Idol”. My teen-age daughter (who has perfect pitch) was curled up in a ball and covering her ears.
    Kelly is right, EVERYONE can have a bad or shaky performance. When you have a bad performance everytime, it leads people to think you CAN”T SING!
    Kelly also sent out a tweet praising PINK’s vocal performance the night of the Grammys. ITA with her on that one also!

  • windmills

    First off I think Kelly is AWESOME for taking up for Carrie (who Borchetta’s swipe was mostly aimed at IMO seeing as Carrie is perceived as Taylor’s main sales and awards competition – Miranda Lambert’s in the mix there too) and the AI family. Even better she’s 100% right in her blog: it’s bad form to take swipes at other acts and it’s not just about hitting high notes on AI, it’s about being in tune which Taylor Swift regularly is not. Not being in tune usually takes away from the performance.

    Second of all he’s not even right about AI. If AI were just about hitting the highest notes then Adam, Allison, or Danny would’ve won S8. But who did? Kris who doesn’t have the biggest range. It was about how he delivered the songs.

    Everybody who’s done really well on or since AI has that ability not just to sing well but to communicate the songs well. Borchetta’s off base acting like his gravy train is better than AIers for that. Borchetta’s been acting the crazy fan boy about this and it’s not a good look.

    LOL @ the fact Borcetta’s a Can You Duet judge and still spewing crap like this.

    I also think it’s really cowardly of Borcetta to throw music engineers under the bus – it’s more pathetic because his 1st explanation was that critics are just “jealous”. He ought to be careful because late last year there were rumbles about Taylor using AutoTune and being a terrible singer on awards shows and she denied it. But since that time she’s giving one horrific performance after another, not that she’s ever had any truly great ones.

  • Miss Chaos

    He was the dark haired judge on Singing Duets really? He seemed so up with what is going on and loved the good voices that hit the right notes. What the hell happened to his hearing??? Wow, to defend that horrible noise that he called singing coming out of Taylor, I have no respect for him at all, and never saw anything worth while coming out of Taylors mouth. Shes gonna be done this year mark my words. They will find a new Taylor Swift, that can guess what? SING?? And wont if be funny if it comes of AI where hitting the notes including the high ones seem to count with most of the public.

  • http://bridgetcarle.wordpress.com vorona

    Kelly is great. I love her for speaking up, and I admire her for writing so eloquently when she’s angry. When I’m angry, I have trouble constructing a sentence.

  • emmuzka

    So basically Borchetta is saying that a viewer can find more perfect live performances from American Idol than in Grammy Awards?

    Gotcha.

  • Mtlfan

    Great Kelly!!! Go girl

    It was totally uncalled for to attack AI — there are a lot of other artists singing high notes, why focusing on AI? I guess it’s something to name without having to be spurt a specific name. Anyway, in my opinion, all winners of AI show a LOT of artistry and that’s why they won.

    (i would have prefer however that Kelly didn’t rub it with “hiting the right notes” — i agree with all the rest)

  • Keel

    Dude, I had to change the channel after about one minute of Taylor’s performance on Sunday night. It was cringeworthy — and Stevie knew it (poor Stevie), but Taylor was cluelessly singing her off-key heart out. And funny how the sound issues always seem to happen to Taylor every. single. time. Wonder why it never happens (in my recollection) to Carrie?

    And props to Kelly for speaking her mind.

  • amiroamor

    First off I think Kelly is AWESOME for taking up for Carrie (who Borchetta’s swipe was mostly aimed at IMO seeing as Carrie is perceived as Taylor’s main sales and awards competition – Miranda Lambert’s in the mix there too) and the AI family.

    ITA. The minute he mentioned “American Idol” and “high notes” Carrie instantly came to my mind.

  • lucy

    So basically Borchetta is saying that a viewer can find more perfect live performances from American Idol than in Grammy Awards?

    Hilarious.

    Talk about unintended consequences of your remarks!

  • tinawina

    The judges give much emphasis on irrelevant technicalities such as the voice and not on the important things such as phrasing, musicianship, and the ability to interpret lyrics. Anyway, I’m just glad we have artists like Kelly who does not only possess a remarkable range, but also an innate ability to communicate the song so well.

    I was hoping Kara would be the one to address the lack of this type of judging, since she was the first real singer on the panel. Simon judges from a marketability perspective, Paula from a performer’s perspective, Randy – I don’t know what the hell Randy does LOL, but Kara could do this kind of thing well. But she doesn’t do it consistently. Sads.

    That said, I do agree with the person upthread who said that the winners/runner ups on AI tend to be the people who do all of it – interpretation, phrasing, pitch – well.

  • CariA

    But I also concur that AI is extremely lacking in artistry. The judges give much emphasis on irrelevant technicalities such as the voice and not on the important things such as phrasing, musicianship, and the ability to interpret lyrics. Anyway, I’m just glad we have artists like Kelly who does not only possess a remarkable range, but also an innate ability to communicate the song so well.

    Really? Most of the singers on Idol can make it through with their voices but it takes more than a good voice to make it big on Idol. Granted there are a few that sneak through, but in general they can sing. Once the top 13 starts it is more about the full performance, such as phrasing, musicianship, and the ability to interpret the lyrics that connects them to the audience. So I politely 100% disagree with your statement.

    In reference to Kelly, I’m glad she is confident enough to speak her mind and do it respectfully. Go Kelly!!

  • movin2thabeet

    Tell it, sister! Kelly C is one righteous gal. She tells it like it is, right to the heart of the matter. I’m so glad she spoke out on this. Defending Taylor Swift’s live performances has to be a tough job, but her label asked for it by making recordings that don’t honestly represent what she is about live and in person. Putting down AI artists to build up the Taylor brand (as if it needed any more building up) is a nasty business. I’m glad Kelly had, well, the balls to give it to Mr. Borchetta. I have to add that I absolutely love how she used the word ‘we’ to defend AI artists. It is so great to hear successful artists that got their big break through the show represent for each other – not the label, or the show, but the other artists in the collective, ever-growing family. Love ya, Kelly!

  • Bearcatgrad9912

    Well if that doesn’t prove that Kelly is not “over Idol” and doesn’t want to associate herself with it any longer, then nothing will. She clearly still remembers her roots and how she got where she is today. Kudos to Kelly!

  • mzbet

    I think I’d have been tempted to scratch some eyes out if I’d been Stevie Nicks hearing someone butcher her great song “Rhiannon”. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I told my son that night that Taylor shouldn’t be allowed to breathe the same air as Stevie Nicks on stage. (hangs head in shame)

    Taylor seems to be a sweet person, but I’m pretty much over it. I saw her on SNL with her cute opening song. I thought being off-key there was part of the act. Little did I know that was “normal” for her live performances until I saw several more of them LOL

  • Buderschnookie

    He must have been absolutely slammed with people telling him how highly Taylor stunk to even write a public response in the first place. And the fact that what he wrote was so utterly defensive tells me he was really seriously barraged by nasty comments. Big Machine is indeed having a bad week.

    There was zero reason for him to mention AI at all- what a ginormous pile of shit he stepped in when he chose those particular words! I hope he is forced to publicly apologize- Taylor can’t be happy that such a dolt speaks about her performance by calling out an entire slew of successful artists.

    Good for Kelly!
    She is girl power!

  • SashaB

    Kelly Clarkson rocks. She’s awesome.

  • jordison

    Second of all he’s not even right about AI. If AI were just about hitting the highest notes then Adam, Allison, or Danny would’ve won S8. But who did? Kris who doesn’t have the biggest range. It was about how he delivered the songs.

    Allison – high notes? Allison is all about interpretation and rich lower register.

    I like everything about Taylor, except her singing.

    Main difference between Carrie and Taylor is not hitting high notes – Carrie can sing, Taylor can not.

  • wand3rful

    I wonder if his dig was at Carrie Underwood, since she is an ex Idol and Taylor’s direct competition.

    As much as I like Taylor (and her music is on my ipod), her live performances are horrible. The only time she was able to shine was at the Grammy’s last year singing with….Miley Cyrus. Fk, I would sound great singing with MC.

    Also, lets keep it real. “Artistry” my arse, she doesnt play the guitar that well and her lyrics are quite simplistic. But hey, she’s cute and she’s better than Miley/the Fetus/JonasGays, thus based on a grading curve, yes she is a true artist.

  • wand3rful

    Main difference between Carrie and Taylor is not hitting high notes – Carrie can sing, Taylor can not.

    LOL , true. Man, we can argue who has the better voice …danny vs kris vs adam vs the rocker, but all four can actually sing. Taylor just cant. She would be lucky to even make it on the tour if she was on the show.

  • auntieaimee

    Kelly needs to learn when to let things slide. Engaging in backbiting doesn’t reflect well on her, imo.

  • LCT

    Kuddos to you Kelly for speaking your mind and defending wonderful artists that have come out of AI – Carrie, the Davids, Jordan….No only are they talented but they truly communicate with their fans!

  • Truthiness

    I’m so totally behind Kelly here. You go girl!

    Everyone does have a bad live performance or two, and bad feeds and wonky acoustics sure can contribute to those types of situations. It happens. But Taylor has bad live performances almost constantly, because she can’t sing well. Which, okay, fine. But to attribute not being able to sing, to artistry, is crap. There are those who don’t sing great live, but that doesn’t make them artistic, they are artistic and their singing doesn’t have to be great live. Taylor doesn’t sing well, but that doesn’t make her Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. It just means she writes crappy pop/country songs AND can’t even sing them well live, like other pop artists might be able to. No more, no less.

  • Tamarynd

    I think I’d have been tempted to scratch some eyes out if I’d been Stevie Nicks hearing someone butcher her great song “Rhiannon”.

    It’s too bad Brooke White wasn’t paired with Stevie Nicks for “Rhiannon”. I think that duet would have been great.

  • sma11ie

    the winners/runner ups on AI tend to be the people who do all of it – interpretation, phrasing, pitch – well.

    Very true. And AI isn’t even about the big voices anymore– not since at least Season 6, when we’ve had folks like Blake Lewis, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Kris Allen do extremely well, and better than their big-voiced colleagues.

    Kelly needs to learn when to let things slide. Engaging in backbiting doesn’t reflect well on her, imo.

    I hope she doesn’t learn to let these things slide– I f-ing love it, LOL. Especially in this particular case, when she is SO RIGHT it’s not even funny. Team Kelly, Team American Idol 4 LYFE, LOL.

  • Tess

    The minute they put Taylor on stage with Stevie the dye was cast. Peeps will give cute Miss Swift the benefit of the doubt and say she is just young and shy and doesn’t have a booming voice. But when she is attempting to duet with someone who was an “icon” of a time and still has a wondrous voice at 62, then it is easy to hear all the things Taylor isn’t.

    I think this was Taylor’s year and now her blazing sun will slowly start to sink. She isn’t a teen anymore….she can’t get away with singing about high school cheerleaders and proms and princes and fairy tales. So she will struggle to find new material, and also a new audience as the next new teen princess arises. And no longer will she be treated as the struggling new kid and she won’t be handled with kid gloves by the media and the public. She made it to the top of the heap…lots of people will be happy to lend her a hand as she slides down the slippery slope.

  • dv

    Well done to Kelly for sticking up for the show and all of the Idols.

    Kelly i hope you never change and will always speak your mind.

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    Taylor doesn’t sing well, but that doesn’t make her Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen.

    It’s interesting that you brought up Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I think Bob Dylan has the best voice ever and I think Leonard Cohen is one of the best songwriters in the history of music.

  • casey718

    Borchetta should have kept his mouth shut. His artist already won the big Grammy, why does he care what people are saying? Unless he believes that this negative press will affect Taylor in the future. I think that’s the case. Taylor has one of the worst voices in the industry, that I’ve heard in a while. There are plenty of popular artists who don’t have the best technical voice, but most of them are pleasant to listen to (nice tone to their voice or a great lower register) but Taylor doesn’t have any of that. Her mid-range notes sound just as bad as her higher notes.
    It doesn’t mean she’s not a great songwriter, but how is she going to further her career if people think she’s a horrible singer? This is not a rhetorical question, I really wonder if it matters to the buying public or not.

  • bridgette12

    &l think this was Taylor’s year and now her blazing sun will slowly start to sink. She isn’t a teen anymore….she can’t get away with singing about high school cheerleaders and proms and princes and fairy tales. So she will struggle to find new material, and also a new audience as the next new teen princess arises. And no longer will she be treated as the struggling new kid and she won’t be handled with kid gloves by the media and the public. She made it to the top of the heap…lots of people will be happy to lend her a hand as she slides down the slippery slope.

    Taylor's little pitch problem and tone deafness would not have been that big of a deal, if it didn't happen at the Grammys. Anyone who's watched her on these award shows know she couldn't sing live, but now the whole world knows she can't sing live. She's up there grinning like she's just won the lottery, and the audience is looking at her like, I can't believe she just won a grammy and she can't sing. It's obvious Taylor Swift and her label are delusional about her talents, and I don't have a doubt she will continue on smiling and pretending she's a good singer to those who are naive enough to believe it.

  • bmms

    Blah, blah, blah…

    Taylor can’t sing… wow, big news. BTW, she WAS awful at the Grammys. It seemed as if Stevie Nicks was having the hardest time ‘keeping up’ with Swift. And in no way am I insulting Stevie!

    Borchetta is a complete moron.

    Kelly loves to hear herself give the big lecture everytime she does not like someone else’s opinion. Why does she take everything word for word? This Borchetta guy doesn’t even deserve to be answered back, after his idiotic comment. Sometimes its best to Let It Be! I’m wondering why Kelly hasn’t had a love interest???? Maybe she should go play the love game instead of acting like a moody, make them wrong bitch, everytime she gets ticked off at someone. That temper is downright scary! Oh, now it makes perfect sense. Maybe her ‘temper tantrums’ have something to do with the fact that no one wants to get close to her.

  • Nina1

    To think, I spent the morning defending Taylor at HuffPo.

    Anyone in the music industry should know better than to defend a singer (not necessarily an “artist”) by attacking other singers. If those in the industry demonstrate poor taste, you can bet couch potato critics will just pile on – and they have, ad nauseum. Kelly’s anger was righteous. That said, I admire anyone who can get up and sing in front of millions, pitchy or no, because they would have to blot me off the floor after I viewed the audience.

  • Tess

    I wonder if Taylor is like those kids who audition for Idol that really really believe they are the best of the best because everyone has told them so for so long…and then they sing…ba da bing! I don’t think Taylor even knows how bad she really is and this article may have been written to protect the million dollar princess if they can convince her that the listening public is wrong and the producers (who adore her so) are right.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    As usual,I think too much is made of one performance.big.fu$&king.deal.I also think some people are pissed she sold so much compared to idols like Jason Castro david cook and yes adam lambert.
    I like Taylors music and love her personality. I love kelly’s muisv and am meh on her personality.yet,If I had to choose one I would definetly choose Kelly.
    that being said,I usually don’t agree with her behaviour.but I appreciate her writing this.and ITA with this;

    Having said that, I gotta say I’m on Team Kelly in this argument. Dude, defend Taylor all you want, but if you’ve got to take swipes at others, there is a problem with your argument.

    but,I also have to notice . JMHO but I think all the people being *cruel*(yes,cruel) to Taylor swift(just a teen idol making music.maybe people don’t like that teen idols sell so much and don’t have the singing chops but that’s just the way it is) are only being so hateful because thy they think their idols deserve it.

    That may be true, but attcking someone else(Taylor) to defen someone or something( your idol,AI) makes you no better than Scott whatshisface.

    *that was a *bit* more profound then my usual squee-ing.lol :)*

  • sma11ie

    Sometimes its best to Let It Be! I’m wondering why Kelly hasn’t had a love interest???? Maybe she should go play the love game instead of acting like a moody, make them wrong bitch, everytime she gets ticked off at someone.

    That’s right Kelly, be a lady and stop speaking up about your opinions, or you’ll never find yourself a man! Men like their women like they like their blowup dolls, right? LMAO. Sorry, my lame attempt at sarcasm.

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    Well, it’s true that American Idol is not really about artistry. At least not the same artistry Borchetta is talking about.

    AI is a reality TV show, a singing competition. The original idea was to find a charismatic great singer that can be molded into a popstar. Someone like Kelly, Carrie, Jordin. For me, a good Idol contestant sings a cover song so well that you practically forget about the original version. 19 and Sony labels are looking for contestants that really draw the audience with their performances. That’s the kind of “magic” that Idol is looking for every year. It’s the X factor, as Simon would say.

    And I would take Carrie over Taylor anytime. I couldn’t care less if Taylor writes all her material herself. Who cares? Even vocals on her studio recordings are so poor that you know that she can’t sing.

    But Carrie – she is awesome, I really enjoy her music.

  • OnePlusSix

    Borchetta could have done more harm than good here. When Kanye spoke out negatively, he helped Taylor’s career because everyone was on her side with the sympathy vote, however, that’s well spent and, personally, I have a hard time watching her accept awards with her “omg, I can’t believe” persona. Give me a break here. She’s cute and can be entertaining (has the sets, props, dancers, etc.) but sing…..sorry, not with any quality whatsoever. I wish her well, but I have to give credit where credit is due…bravo Kelly, you said it right.

  • sunny2

    Borchetta is a moron, and Thank God Kelly doesn’t put up with BS and speaks her mind. If Taylor doesn’t issue an apology or at least distance herself from these remarks, I’m officially over her.

  • Tess

    luvadamlambert
    02/04/2010 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t think anyone is taking swipes at Taylor because she is out distancing their favs. I think the whole thing is “Taylor can’t sing”…she may write good songs and “perform” them well for her album and she does OK with the help of augmentation on her tour…but she still can’t sing as compared to most good singers.

    And for her people to do on the offensive when this is brought up in the press just poured gasoline on quiet embers.

  • Truthiness

    It’s interesting that you brought up Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I think Bob Dylan has the best voice ever and I think Leonard Cohen is one of the best songwriters in the history of music.

    Well cool, different strokes and all. But my mom has loves Dylan, has tons of his albums, and who has heard him several times for many years now, says that he’s very inconsistent live. Sometimes he sounds okay, sometimes he sounds like crap and you never know which Dylan you’re going to get when you go. Though I would say based on seeing him at our corporate party a few years ago, he sounded like crap live. Oh and that it was sads that he performed at our corporate bday shindig. I mean dude. But I guess shilling for Victoria Secrets should end any kind of squeamishness about commercialism.

  • sma11ie

    That may be true, but attcking someone else(Taylor) to defen someone or something( your idol,AI) makes you no better than Scott whatshisface.

    Which is why I’m glad Kelly was defending AI/Carrie/etc without attacking Taylor. She was clearly aiming her blog at Scott Borchetta and not at all on Taylor, who she says she likes (and recall, she’s defended Taylor in the past– after the VMA, Kelly actually she wrote a similarly toned angry blog against Kanye for what he did to Taylor, haha).

    Anyway, for myself, I’ve been criticizing Taylor’s live singing today just because it’s interesting, and up for discussion, not because I’m mad or jealous she’s sold so well. I do think she’s talented, and I totally understand the appeal– most people I know LOVE her. Apparently a lot of people here on MJ’s don’t. But most of the big newspaper critics who’ve been slamming Taylor aren’t AI fans at all, and as such, their cruelty, if you will, has nothing to do with their favorite Idol selling less. The Grammy performance really was bad enough that is caused a stir all on its own. Scott Borchetta’s the one who put his foot in his mouth and dragged AI into the discussion. I don’t think the majority of Taylor’s critics out in the real world are AI fans motivated by jealousy, JMO.

  • Nina1

    Maybe she should go play the love game instead of acting like a moody, make them wrong bitch, everytime she gets ticked off at someone.

    So if she had a love interest she would zip it and develop the vapors??? Scary and totally irrelevant.

  • Mary102

    So, when I read the original blurb by this Scott guy on EW.com this morning, I had no idea about the swipe at AI. What a jerk! Does he not realize that AI singers (even top 10, top 24 material) tend to outsing about 90% of current “pop” singers out today?

    Just think on the show about how awesome the AI contestants would often be, when compared to the like of Jamie Foxx, or Kanye West, or Miley. Ugh. Couldn’t hold a tune to save their life, and Kelly, Carrie, Adam, the Davids, Kris could all sing circles around them.

    WTG, Kelly! You’re my hero :-)

    And yeah, can’t say it enough – Taylor is a really really bad singer.

  • Nina1

    sometimes he sounds like crap and you never know which Dylan you’re going to get

    Dylan started out sounding awful, improving when he quit smoking. Dude’s a heck of a writer, but singer???? Nahhhh.

  • http://kristentheyellowlab.blogspot.com/ Zsus

    HAHA!!! I LOVE it. Go Kelly! I have nothing against Taylor. She seems like a sweet girl. But, the first time I heard her perform live was on SNL and I went, “Yowch!” But, as others have said, the voice isn’t everything. (Obviously. The girl is a superstar.)

    I think Scott Borchetta is a moron to put down other singers in order to justifies Taylor’s vocal suckage.

  • mzbet

    Also, I think it should be kept in mind that Kelly wrote this response on her own blog. Her blog, her opinion. As was mentioned above, she defended Taylor when Kanye pulled his stunt (and some said he should be overlooked for doing it). Kellie Pickler certainly had some rebuttal to Kanye for his behavior towards her friend, Taylor. Kellie, is another AI contestant who’s befriended Taylor Swift. So, I think Mr. Borchetta is the one who needs to keep his mouth shut about American Idol. My opinion.

  • brewster

    There certainly are genres and styles of music where the performers ability to stay on key, or sing in a “technically correct” manner is not essential, but Swift’s “music” seems to require being in tune and on key, or at least close to it. What Borchetta is saying is that Swift’s inability to sing live is not an issue because there are plenty of people who are willing to buy her CD. That’s fine, but when your talent gets on stage and exposes the obvious weaknesses in her performing ability, well you better be prepared to hear the public’s opinion. The almighty dollar buys a lot of stuff, but it can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

  • cumulus

    Scott Borchetta is the new Kanye West. I think he is defending his bank account, not Taylor Swift.

    If Taylor deserves any award, it should really be for songwriting. And I think the Grammy’s should have a new category called “Best Singer”. That would help to give recognition to those who truly deserve it and can actually sing, and might help to put out some better records, too.

    And Kelly Clarkson, I think I love you!!

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    I don’t think the majority of Taylor’s critics out in the real world are AI fans motivated by jealousy, JMO.

    I agree.Sorry, I worded my comment wrong. I wa speaking specifically about this blog and the comments I read saying Taylor will shift into oblivion etc.etc.

  • snlw

    You go girl Kelly!!! Please don’t ever change!

    Nowaday whenever I hear Taylor on radio, I automatically switch channel because I can’t stand listening to her voice and esp. can’t get over the memories of her poor live performances on all the recent award shows. The funny part is before all these award shows, I don’t even pay attention to her and was fine with hearing “You belong with me” on radio but not anymore…

  • Mary102

    He must have been absolutely slammed with people telling him how highly Taylor stunk to even write a public response in the first place.

    I definitely think so. It was interesting to see how negative the blogs were about her after the show. Without any real “controversial” moment that night, Taylor’s performance got the most negative response, especially with the big win at the end of the show.

  • Mark

    But I also concur that AI is extremely lacking in artistry. The judges give much emphasis on irrelevant technicalities such as the voice and not on the important things such as phrasing, musicianship, and the ability to interpret lyrics. Anyway, I’m just glad we have artists like Kelly who does not only possess a remarkable range, but also an innate ability to communicate the song so well.

    That used to be true to some degree, in, say, the first few seasons, but became less and less true from about S4 on. Idol performers have increasingly been critiqued on the elements you just spoke about, and thus we’ve increasingly had a crew which has had more of those elements than Idols past, and really with as much talent in those areas as their contemporary peers.

    However, and this is the only area where Borchetta might have a vague point, it is true Idol has a bit of an album problem. Part of that is that, especially on the debut album, Idol makes its artists record using an outdated model of working which cares less about artistry than hit potential, a model which, in the digital age, really should be ditched. Part of that also happens to be that the Idol process itself selects for live performers independent of their ability to own a persona on record, so when and if they do it’s a bit of a happy accident more than anything. Actually, I think they’ve come around to getting artists who have been increasingly better at that, but it’s still a bit of an issue.

    That all said, there isn’t any reason Borchetta should be taking a swipe at the Idol performers. It just looks really stupid and ugly, and it’s a shallow defense. If he’d stuck to just defending Taylor, all involved would be better off, really. Kelly is on the money here, as usual.

    Plus, it’s not the kind of argument you’d want to drag Taylor into. Considering where he’s coming from as a label head, I don’t get why’d you’d want to force an argument like that. It just seems dumb. Seriously, play to your endless supply of fans with hype and not to the detractors at this point; it’s a losing game.

  • JudyL

    It’s Kelly’s blog……why shouldn’t she say what she thinks. Kelly is a great singer and it’s understandable that she got riled by this Scott guy. She is willing to deal with any fallout, if there is any. If there are musicians with blogs who want to defend Taylor, that’s their right.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    but she still can’t sing as compared to most good singers

    I’m honestly confused.If you mean RELATIVELY,to AI contestants she can’t sing I can understand that(and it’s a matter of opinion bu I think that’s true).
    But is the general discussion in this thread about whether she can sing about why she’s so succesful.Because you don’t have to sing to have people buy more music *coughjamiefoxxcough*

  • dhunken

    I am on team Kelly. There was no reason to attack the idols. Besides what is with this bull concept that big voices can’t be artist. Am I wrong that Aretha Franklin who has a huge voices and considered by many to be the best singer is also an artist. Adam has a big voice when he wants but for every Whole Lotta Love there is Mad world. Carrie for every Before he Cheats there is Temporary Home. Kelly Since U been Gone there is Already Gone. So Big voice does not mean a person is not an artist or can not phrase, interpret, or reel it in. I honestly think that for the Adam’s, Daughtry’s, Kelly, Carrie’s, David C and Jennifer Hudson’s it really means they have more of a range of work to show case because they can belt and they can croon and they can reel it in. I find this true of the really great power voices of American Idol. I find it true for the for the ones not considered to be the power voices. Kris, David A are two that I think are revered more for there mellow interpretive songs but can belt out a number with the best of them. Kris not only held his own in the finale with Queen and Adam but he did amazing. And David Arculeta I really don’t think there is anything he can’t sing. If he can’t sing it it is only because he doesn’t want to. The guy is spectacular. So this idea of boxing in Idols as either power voices or mellow aritistic voices is bull. The great singers Sing and for me AI produces GREAT SINGERS. Yes some feel more comfortable with particular styles but remember they got as far as they did for the versatility as well as there appeal. IMHO

    Again Kelly just defending herself and her fellow Idols. I really don’t think she did it in a rude way at all. Remember she is one of the ones who first came to Taylor’s defense with the whole Kayne thing and was not as nice as she is here. Important to point out her criticism is not at Taylor it is at the buffoon. Bottom line of all this is Taylor is not a great live singer. Does not take away from her album or songs that seem to connect to so many teens and tweens. AI does produce some of the best life singers in the music industry.

  • bmms

    sometimes he sounds like crap and you never know which Dylan you’re going to get

    Dylan started out sounding awful, improving when he quit smoking. Dude’s a heck of a writer, but singer???? Nahhhh.

    It’s one thing to speak the truth about Taylor being a bad singer, it’s a completely different thing when you take a stab at Bob. DYLAN IS A LEGEND! For that matter, let me list the LEGENDARY artists that cannot ‘sing’ nor hit the high notes, but deserve every inch of respect and gratitude for their decades of work.

    Bruce Springsteen
    Neil Young
    Iggy Pop
    Lou Reed
    Carlos Santana

    Just to name a FEW.

  • windmills

    I’m honestly confused.If you mean RELATIVELY,to AI contestants she can’t sing I can understand that(and it’s a matter of opinion bu I think that’s true).

    Taylor also can’t sing compared to most country singers which was her 1st genre. Country music is a genre where there’s a lot of pride in being able to deliver great live vocals. When you look at the great ladies of country music – whether or not they have the biggest voices they are great live singers and they’re true to the lyrics when they sing. Taylor isn’t a great live singer and she still hasn’t learned all of her songs so that they’re within her limitations.

    I haven’t seen anybody hating on Taylor today @ MJs. There’s a lot of criticism that’s based on her performances and that’s no different than us talking about AIers past and present performing on TV. It’s different than what Scott Borchetta is doing because as the representative of his record label and artists he shouldn’t be insulting other artists. People like us who are commenting on blogs don’t have the same obligations – we’re just discussing music as fans.

  • bmms

    That’s right Kelly, be a lady and stop speaking up about your opinions, or you’ll never find yourself a man! Men like their women like they like their blowup dolls, right? LMAO. Sorry, my lame attempt at sarcasm.

    She is no lady. She seems to have a negative opinion about almost everything! She should keep busy with EHarmony or Match.com instead of shooting that mouth of hers.

  • wellhesback

    I love what Kelly Clarkson wrote. Whatever issues I may have with American Idol as a show, it has certainly found a few really, really good singers. And by that I mean people who know when to hit a glory note, and when to let a simple melody stay simple. sigh – I hate when people mock this show because it has given the world some really good entertainers (and not just my fave, David Cook), that unfortunately get lumped in with the mocking.

  • standtotheright

    Okay, so I normally adore KC, and I think she’s totally in the right here, and am all “Go Team” and everything…

    But if you look at her responses on Twitter to the blog posts, it occurs to me that KC tweets like TS sings.

  • bmms

    Clarkson should lose some weight while she’s at it. It’s obvious she’s keeping busy in making everyone wrong and loves to hear herself talk, instead of occupying her time with getting back in shape and worrying about HERSELF instead of yakking away at others. Oh yeah, she should get some new wardrobe from this century, while she’s at it.

  • sma11ie

    She is no lady. She seems to have a negative opinion about almost everything! She should keep busy with EHarmony or Match.com instead of shooting that mouth of hers.

    Ha, exactly! I was agreeing with you, no? Did you not see I was berating Kelly to be a lady because she CLEARLY isn’t. I mean, she speaks up about her opinions, even if, gasp, they are negative! On her own blog! That’s public– how unlady-like! Who does she think she is to even have a blog, anyway? Let’s expand that– what is going on in our world that women allowed to have blogs? Don’t people know they might occasionally blog NEGATIVE opinions if they’re allowed their own blogs? Cuz this is the 50’s, is it not? Where being a “lady” is about keeping your mouth shut? And the only goal a woman should have in life is to find a man to tame that temper. It doesn’t matter what you accomplish, you’re nothing if you can’t find a man! Nope. Big fail, Kelly C, BIG FAIL.

  • windmills

    Wow. Just wow.

    Anyhoooooo people are starting to pick up on Kelly’s blog!

    For instance David Cook tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/thedavidcook/status/8647517148

    Kudos, @kelly_clarkson. Love it.

    Kelly’s tweeted a couple compliments about David too.

    Blake Shelton who for those of you who don’t know is a country star with a GREAT sense of humor who has been dating country star Miranda Lambert (Nashville Star alumni – she didn’t win but she is by FAR their most successful alum) also tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/blakeshelton/status/8647816238

    http://www.iamkelly.wordpress.com Sorry my blog isn’t more ‘happy’ but I can’t stand ignorance (via @kelly_clarkson) Ha! Go Kelly! Go Kelly!

  • soccerboi

    GO Kelly! I could not agree more with you. Really though after Pink’s UH_MAAAAZING performance that night everyone else just failed in comparison. It really brought to light how Taylor’s vocals really are weak. Lovely girl, great song writer and average singer at best.

  • Tess

    wellhesback
    02/04/2010 at 4:16 pm

    Man, I’ll be the first to mock American Idol and call it reality show commercialism…but the kids who participate and SING their hearts out aren’t the SHOW. There really is a big difference…and I think that everyone that has discovered their fav because they were part of the show will be the first to agree.

    And as a much to broad and OTT comparison…I hate War and I hate everything about it…but I love and respect the men and women who serve in it, in whatever capacity. Does that make sense.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Anyhoooooo people are starting to pick up on Kelly’s blog!

    For instance David Cook tweeted:

    I am sure I wasn’t the only one, but I retweeted mj’s tweet about it to him.

  • tiger92

    Clarkson should lose some weight while she’s at it. It’s obvious she’s keeping busy in making everyone wrong and loves to hear herself talk, instead of occupying her time with getting back in shape and worrying about HERSELF instead of yakking away at others

    What does an artist’s weight have to do with how well they can sing? Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson aren’t going to win any “skinny woman of the year” award, but they can sing circles around most people.

  • OnePlusSix

    cumulus
    02/04/2010 at 4:00 pm
    Scott Borchetta is the new Kanye West. I think he is defending his bank account, not Taylor Swift.
    It’s interesting that you said this because as I was reading all the comments I was associating Scott in the same vein as Kayne…not the brightest bulb in the pack. Like many, I am on the Kelly team with this incident….way to have guts girl! Sorry Taylor, but fact is fact and the proof is in the pudding!

  • hicksaholic

    Kelly is exactly right IMO.

    I think in Taylor Swift’s case the less said by her or her management the better. She’s obviously making a gazillion dollars so I’m sure she and her management don’t care (or shouldn’t care) that Taylor is criticized for her non autotuned performances. I would have loved to see Taylor do a cover auditioning for AI. Simon would have eaten her alive. Now an original perhaps $$$ would have shown up in his eyes but only from a songwriting perspective. A lot of singers aren’t technically perfect but they have interesting voices, Dylan being one of them IMO. Taylor’s voice is neither technically perfect nor interesting, again JMHO.

  • bmms

    So if she had a love interest she would zip it and develop the vapors??? Scary and totally irrelevant.

    She should start worrying about her LIFE and not just her singing career, instead of responding to morons like Borchetta or anyone else that she doesn’t agree with. It’s his idiotic opinion and she makes it worse by answering back.

    No, she is scary with that temper and her opinion will probably be irrelevant to Borchetta!

  • tiger92

    Really though after Pink’s UH_MAAAAZING performance that night everyone else just failed in comparison.

    It was AMAZING!!! Seriously, I don’t want to hear anymore bitching about someone like Taylor Swift who can’t sing when she’s up on stage with “all the other instruments and distractions”.
    Try to sing hanging upside down, spinning and soaked in water. It took an enormous amount of muscle control and CORRECT SINGING TECHNIQUE for Pink to be able to support the notes like she did. She was a star at the Grammys!

    So if she had a love interest she would zip it and develop the vapors??? Scary and totally irrelevant.

    She should start worrying about her LIFE and not just her singing career,

    Why? Because if she doesn’t have a steady man, she can’t be a happy, successful women? Really?

  • bmms

    What does an artist’s weight have to do with how well they can sing? Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson aren’t going to win any “skinny woman of the year” award, but they can sing circles around most people.

    First of all, Aretha is the queen of soul, Clarkson cannot even hold a candle to this legend. Ms. Aretha doesn’t need to ‘prove’ anything to anyone. J. Hud HAS lost plenty of ‘baby’ weight. She looked amazing at the Grammys. Clarkson looked way too big at the AMA’s and she should worry about losing the weight for her health and not just for looks, than to blah, blah, blah everytime she doesn’t agree with someone.

  • bridgette12

    bmms
    02/04/2010 at 4:18 pm
    “Clarkson should lose some weight while she’s at it. It’s obvious she’s keeping busy in making everyone wrong and loves to hear herself talk, instead of occupying her time with getting back in shape and worrying about HERSELF instead of yakking away at others. Oh yeah, she should get some new wardrobe from this century, while she’s at it.”

    Yes, Kelly could lose some weight and she could use a stylist, but despite all of that artificial stuff, she can sing her ass off. I am not a Kelly fan, nor have I ever bought any of her music, but she has a great voice. Taylor is tall and slim girl, who dresses like a model, got exposed on National television and the world, as someone who couldn’t sing to save her life. Kelly stated an opinion that probably several in the music business will agree with. Taylor Swift is becoming a punch line for being the great grammy winner, that’s really an auto-tuned princess. Her management and label need to shut up, because everybody knows that Taylor can’t sing.

  • jpfan

    I like Kelly and I appreciate her honestly. On the other hand, she does goes come across as an angry person and I’m not sure getting in an argument involving Taylor helps anyone.

  • sma11ie

    But if you look at her responses on Twitter to the blog posts, it occurs to me that KC tweets like TS sings.

    LMAO, sooo true. Having to click through every single tweet to figure out what she she’s responding to is a huge pain in my @ss. But she’s still pretty new to Twitter. I hope someone educates her…

    For instance David Cook tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/thedavidcook/status/8647517148
    Kudos, @kelly_clarkson. Love it.
    Kelly’s tweeted a couple compliments about David too.

    For those who don’t have the patience to click through all her tweets, here’s what she responded to plus the original tweets to her:

    carlygreenebean: RT thedavidcook Kudos, @kelly_clarkson. Love it.
    kelly_clarkson: RE: He was probably highly insulted as well.

    aliroo_: @kelly_clarkson do you like @thedavidcook ‘s album?
    kelly_clarkson RE: Yes, he has a great voice …..he hits ‘the high notes’ really well too :)

    Some other tweets of relevance:

    kelly_clarkson RE: Don’t recall dissing Taylor but thanks for the memo, I’ll get on that.
    (this is in response to some deleted tweet, apparently)

    Susylynn: @kelly_clarkson love you kelly I totally love Taylor and dont believe u dissed her I don’t know what that guy is talking about :)

    kelly_clarkson RE: I buy her albums and cover her songs, obviously I’m a fan.
    kelly_clarkson RE: White Horse and Cold As You .

  • savgal

    Carrie for every Before he Cheats there is Temporary Home. Kelly Since U been Gone there is Already Gone. So Big voice does not mean a person is not an artist or can not phrase, interpret, or reel it in.

    But, IMHO on those “using their little voice” songs, Carrie and Kelly still have great pitch and support on every single note, and the voice is still strong although not loud. Taylor, at this point in her career, simply does not have the vocal strength of Carrie and Kelly. Could she develop it? Probably with a lot of very hard work — even Kris who started out with a good voice sounds even better today thanks to some lessons or coaching in recent months.
    P.S. Not a huge Pink fan, but her performance on Grammys while doing the acrobatics made me respect her vocal talent. That was awesome, and a very hard act to follow for everyone else.

  • jpfan

    Taylor is a lame singer but she’s an awesome songwriter. In her genre, she’s almost brilliant so I’m cutting her some slack as a singer. Singer/songwriters have a different set of skills from pure singers. I don’t see one as being better/worse than the other.

  • Keel

    JMHO but I think all the people being *cruel*(yes,cruel) to Taylor swift(just a teen idol making music.maybe people don’t like that teen idols sell so much and don’t have the singing chops but that’s just the way it is) are only being so hateful because thy they think their idols deserve it.

    Nah, I never ever made the connection between Taylor and the Idols until this Scott Borchetta guy shot his mouth off. Even with Taylor being hailed as Carrie’s replacement, I just saw it as the natural ebb and flow of people’s careers. Taylor’s career is super white hot right now and Carrie’s is still super hot but Taylor’s is just garnering more new fans and awards right now. No big deal. Circle of life stuff.

    But what this Borchetta guy did was basically insult ALL AI alums, some of whom are great singers and also true artists, just because Taylor was getting (rightly) criticized for a very bad performance on Grammy night. That is not cool at all, and I’m proud of Kelly for stepping up and defending Carrie who is the actual target of Borchetta’s tirade IMO.

  • tiger92

    First of all, Aretha is the queen of soul, Clarkson cannot even hold a candle to this legend. Ms. Aretha doesn’t need to ‘prove’ anything to anyone. J. Hud HAS lost plenty of ‘baby’ weight. She looked amazing at the Grammys. Clarkson looked way too big at the AMA’s and she should worry about losing the weight for her health and not just for looks

    Oh, so if you are older and the “queen of soul”-it is okay for you to be overweight? You mentioned health issues. Wouldn’t being older AND overweight be more of a risk?
    Also, Jennifer has had extra weight before she was even pregnant. Once again, who cares? It didn’t hurt her in the singing department!

  • jpfan

    Let’s not get carried away now. Idol has produced some very good singers but true artists? I’m not so sure about that.

  • Keel

    Taylor is a lame singer but she’s an awesome songwriter. In her genre, she’s almost brilliant so I’m cutting her some slack as a singer.

    Well, I happen to think Taylor is a pretty lame songwriter too. Her tunes are simplistic and her lyrics are insipid. There is a way to write about teen experience without stringing together a bunch of cliches about princesses, fairy tales, cheerleaders, high heels, and all that crap. Her songwriting makes me lose IQ points.

    Even before she got really big, I heard her one song (Teardrops (something about a). Guitar) and couldn’t believe that sh*t was playing on my radio (and there’s a lot of crap out there). It sounded like someone was making up a song on the spot. And then that Love Story song started getting played, and all I could do was roll my eyes. What freaking century was she born in? And don’t even get me started on that Belong with Me song. She’s got the self and social awareness of a shut-in. Her songs steal people’s souls, they are soooo banal.

    ETA: And before someone pipes in that for someone who hates her music, I sure have heard a lot of it, well (1) they are on the radio ALL the time and (2) that’s what happens when she’s on the VH1 countdown at the same time as my beloved Cook. I was almost glad when she passed him on the countdowns so I wouldn’t have to sit through hers just to get a gander at where Cook’s videos ended up on the countdown.

  • tinawina

    Let’s not get carried away now. Idol has produced some very good singers but true artists? I’m not so sure about that.

    Good point. I actually respect Ms Swift greatly as an artist, and I don’t know if any of the idols are as good a songwriter as her. Actually, none of them are I would say.

    But in the artistry of singing, there are some that can sell a song just as well IMO, and are quite charismatic, as is Taylor… but they have much much better control of their voices, and are much better as crafting a song. I would say Kelly is like this, probably Fanny (I know there are people who would disagree) I could go on, but you get the idea.

    ETAL Clearly Keel and I disagree on this. LOL. I don’t find her banal at all. Disney kid stuff is typically banal, but she’s not. I think her songs are well done. I think what she does is actually quite hard to pull off. But that’s just me.

  • standtotheright

    Let’s not get carried away now. Idol has produced some very good singers but true artists? I’m not so sure about that.

    The term “true artist” is such debased coinage at this point that I find it meaningless. AI has produced some talented people who have shown some semblance of their creative personas and who have a decent shot of remaining in the entertainment industry. Given the swamps they have to wade through to get to that point, I think that’s a pretty exceptional accomplishment in its own right.

    ETA. Aww, Keel. Teardrops and White Horse are the two TS songs I unabashedly like, and my problem with most of the rest of them is that they just sound like ripoffs of those two.

  • Keel

    tinawina and standtotheright, heh. Obviously, given her popularity, there are very few people that would agree with me. But for some reason, there are just some artists who are very well respected (latter day John Mayer is another (zzzzz)) whose music just flat out bugs me. I’m weird, I know it.

    ETA:

    Let’s not get carried away now. Idol has produced some very good singers but true artists? I’m not so sure about that.

    OMG, I am such a post ho today. Okay last one.

    I won’t talk about my beloved Cook because that would just be biased, but I actually thought that Kelly’s Because of You was very well done and showed a lot of artistry. Note that even though she got the backing track from whatshisface, she also wrote a lot of the melody to Already Gone, which again I think shows artistry on her part.

    And even though Daughtry is not my cuppeh, there are aspects of some of his songs (which he has written) that are I think extremely well done.

    Plus, it seems kinda silly to say that songwriters are artists whereas singers are not. As we see day in and day out on AI, two singers can sing the same exact song and one will make you cringe whereas another can make the song transcendant. I’d argue that the latter through, not only their natural vocal abilities, but also through their interpretive and performance skills have exhibited artistry.

    It’s just like our musician discussions in the past. The voice is as much a musical instrument as a guitar and what you can do with it when interpreting a song is just as much a show of musicianship as is playing a guitar.

  • SashaB

    I like Taylor’s song writing. However I think Kelly’s “Because of You” which she penned in highschool is a much better / stronger song than Taylor’s “Tim McGraw”.

  • gangreen29

    I really think even the notion of her as a great song writer is overblown. Many of her songs had cowriters, especially Liz Rose, who I think really is the person who crafted the “Taylor Swift” sound.

  • Justin8602

    I say go Kelly GO! I don’t think she comes off as an angry individual. She seems insulted, as she should be. Good for her for speaking her mind. It may be unsolicited, but so what. How is that any different than all of us non-celebs sounding off on blogs or on our own twitters. Just because she is a celebrity, she’s expected to be all polite and PC. Well she’s a person first and foremost and she can say whatever she wants to say. I personally agree with everything she said, and sorry to Taylor fans, but I am so over her. I think she only got as big as she did in mainstream because of what that jack smack Kanye did to her at the VMA’s. Now I think Taylor is talented, but nothing super extraordinary, and definitely not any more talented than Carrie or Kelly or the Davids or Kris or Adam or Jordin, etc. Different strokes for different folks though, we all have our own perceptions on what makes someone more talented than someone else. I can personally give two shits if an artist writes all their own music, it’s just not important to me, I want a song that is sung well, don’t really care who wrote the song usually. Also If I’m paying money to go see someone live, I want them to be able to sing well. So for me a good performer is more talented than a person who writes all their own music.

  • J9BT

    I’ve just checked in today, and WOW about Scott Borchetta’s comments. I am a Taylor Swift fan and was completely horrified and embarrassed by her performance at the Grammy’s. IMO she was completely off pitch throughout her entire performance, and was the only off pitch performer that evening (except the 1st line of the Zac Brown band’s song – that was off pitch too). I was embarrassed for her, as well as for Stevie Nicks having to sing with her, especially considering the awards she won that night.

    I am also a fan of American IDOL and many of the finalists on the show. As we all know, there have been pitchy performances on IDOL and from IDOLS, including both Kris and Adam’s NB performance on Final 2 night and Adam’s AMA performance. That said, what in the world does American IDOL have to do with a bad Grammy performance by Taylor Swift, and how are IDOL performers or the show to blame???? The fact is, they’re not to blame, so referencing them in some sort of “excuse” for Taylor Swift is totally inappropriate, and will most definitely result in a backlash (just how big is the question).

  • Niall

    I don’t blame Scott Borchetta for defending his meal ticket but I totally understand Kelly stepping in to defend her fellow AIers, who Borchetta threw under the bus in his attempt to prop up Taylor Swift’s “artistry.” It’s appropriate, at least to me, that the original idol spoke up for the group.

  • progression

    Regardless of whether Talyor Swift is over-rated or not, there was still no need for Scott B. to make negative comparisons to other artists (AI or otherwise) in order to defend her. I think that was Kelly’s main point in the blog, and I completely agree with her. Dude took the low road, and he’s being called on it.

  • Zarita

    bmms
    02/04/2010 at 4:11 pm

    sometimes he sounds like crap and you never know which Dylan you’re going to get

    Dylan started out sounding awful, improving when he quit smoking. Dude’s a heck of a writer, but singer???? Nahhhh.

    It’s one thing to speak the truth about Taylor being a bad singer, it’s a completely different thing when you take a stab at Bob. DYLAN IS A LEGEND! For that matter, let me list the LEGENDARY artists that cannot ’sing’ nor hit the high notes, but deserve every inch of respect and gratitude for their decades of work.

    Bruce Springsteen
    Neil Young
    Iggy Pop
    Lou Reed
    Carlos Santana

    Just to name a FEW.

    I’m sorry, what? So just because he’s a legend we’re not allowed to say he can’t sing? Well, too bad. I think Bob Dylan sounds like complete shit, pretty much always, sorry I don’t worship at his feet. I’m sure he’ll survive without my adoration. He’s not a legend due to his singing, but his songwriting (I’m assuming). I see nothing wrong with acknowledging that.
    That can be said for the other legends you listed on there, though I don’t think Springsteen is a bad singer. Not sure about the rest, I’ve only heard Neil Young sing once (didn’t like it), and haven’t heard the others. I thought Santana was mostly known for his guitar playing.

    Back on topic, Taylor can’t sing. That’s been obvious since she first started performing. I don’t think much of her songs, but it’s obvious a rather large portion of the population loves them. So, Taylor is known more for her songwriting than her singing. Nothing wrong with that. Well, something wrong with that, since she then inflicts her terrible singing upon me, but that’s beside the point. This guys decided to take a swipe at AI artists just because his artist has been slammed by the media for something they’ve been giving her a pass about for years.

    Kelly had a right to respond. I’m not a fan of Kelly’s. I hate her songs, think her voice is forgettable, and think she causes a lot of problems for herself with her label with her propensity to air her grievances with them. That said, I agreed with her blog, and thought she was actually quite reserved in her response. She says she’s a fan of Taylor’s, and she didn’t insult the girl at all. She just called this guy out on his faulty logic of insulting random people because somehow he thought it would make Taylor’s bad singing not as big of a deal? I have no clue. He’s an idiot.

  • movin2thabeet

    Well, obviously your viewpoint might not be too popular, but Keel, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have to turn the radio to another channel whenever Ms. Swift’s songs come on.

    I think Taylor Swift is first and foremost a shrewd businesswoman. I think she has a innate sense of what sells, and gets it done. Her team clearly knows that once they’ve done the sales job on the public with her so-easily-digestable-lyrics-they-go-in-and-out-in-real-time, innundated the airwaves with this tripe heard nearly nonstop on radio and plastered her sweet ‘innocence’ everywhere, well, you can get away with weak out-of-tune live performances as a matter of course.

    I think what’s so amazing about Scott Borchetta’s statements is his bold-faced temerity in defining TS as a true artist as opposed to the artists coming out of AI. Puhlease! Yes, she’s nailed the ‘package artist’ that Tara loves to yack about but let’s not fool ourselves that she’s anything other than a very clever girl who knows how to tap into people’s nostalgia about the simple days of high school and sell it. Now, if she can work on her vocal skills and develop her songwriting talents beyond the banal, then maybe I’ll credit her with true artistry. Otherwise, huge commercial success does not an artist make.

  • abbysee

    Plus, it seems kinda silly to say that songwriters are artists whereas singers are not. As we see day in and day out on AI, two singers can sing the same exact song and one will make you cringe whereas another can make the song transcendant. I’d argue that the latter through, not only their natural vocal abilities, but also through their interpretive and performance skills have exhibited artistry.

    I really think even the notion of her as a great song writer is overblown.

    However I think Kelly’s “Because of You” which she penned in highschool is a much better / stronger song than Taylor’s “Tim McGraw”.

    The term “true artist” is such debased coinage at this point that I find it meaningless.

    I was reading all of this from my phone at my eye doctors and couldn’t wait to jump in…..however you guys have said it and then some.

    Kelly didn’t start this fight, but she pretty much delivered a bitch slap in response to a sucker punch. She’s right of course and this wasn’t a diss at all to Taylor, as her past comments about her show just how much respect she has for Taylor. Thus guy should just let this go, as he might cause damage to his ‘brand’.

  • J9BT

    P.S. I totally agree with Kelly’s response, and in no way thought she was dissing Taylor. Go Kelly.

    P.P.S. The issue that apparently caused all of the hoopla started with an off pitch performance by Taylor at the Grammy’s, followed by a publicly provided, lame excuse by her label owner. There is nothing about an off pitch performance that involves artistry or any other artist in the business. It just was….off pitch….end of story. Provide technical excuses or whatever you want, but no need to diss an unrelated show or group of performers.

  • Hazehel

    Whatever one may say about American Idol, it does produce good singers. However, the music industry is about producing mass-selling albums, singing capability is not necessarily one of the criteria they are looking for. Many poor singers can sound great in their albums thanks to the magic of studio sound engineers, and some even don’t sing in their album (Milli Vanilli for instance). That’s not something the music industry would like to publicise too much, which is why it’s silly of Scott Borchetta to drag something like American Idol into this, it annoys people who aren’t previously involved in this, put a spotlight on the deficiencies of poor singers, and drag this little episode out longer than it needs to be.

    Dylan started out sounding awful, improving when he quit smoking. Dude’s a heck of a writer, but singer???? Nahhhh.

    Dylan never sounded great, not now, not then, not ever, so I don’t what you meant by smoking. His voice changed and is now more gravelly (sometimes almost Tom Waits-like), and his singing style changed, and perhaps his singing skill improved (well, perhaps, I’m not going to argue if someone wants to challenge me on this point). His is/was certainly not the polished singing voice, but it is this rawness and roughness that some people find compelling and powerful in his singing. I used to dislike his singing style (thought it tuneless and affected), but happened to be going through his entire catalog last week (well not quite entirely, because there is a lot bootleg stuff which I haven’t gone through yet) which I thought was going to be a slog, but it actually turned out to be quite enjoyable. He is very good, the obvious deficiency is actually an assert.

    Anyway, if anyone doesn’t like Dylan’s singing, they can alway listen to Joan Baez, to my mind the best interpreter of his songs, and one fine singer. It’s his songs that matter, not his singing.

  • 123abc456

    I believe that a lot of artists tried out for Idol and that some of them actually won the contest. Art is subjective but I am not and never have been a fan of Taylor Swift, her writing (geared towards teenage girls) or her singing (she has a weak voice). I do believe however that there are artists that have come out of Idol. I believe there are great singers (considered artists) and song writers. And I believe that there are more than one who are better at singing and writing than Taylor Swift. For myself if I felt that American Idol did not produce artists I am not sure if I would watch. For me the thing about the show that is so great is that there are folks out there in the world, talented artists who just need a break. That is why the show has appeal.

  • sunny2

    Clarkson looked way too big at the AMA’s and she should worry about losing the weight for her health and not just for looks, than to blah, blah, blah everytime she doesn’t agree with someone.

    OK, just to clarify your position, if you are over weight you are not allowed to have an opinion? Interesting.

    It amazes me that you have Kelly, who is about as good as a role model for girls you can get (talented, hard-working, and stands her ground), but is so easily dismissed because she is not a size 4. Unbelievable.

  • sma11ie

    I actually thought that Kelly’s Because of You was very well done and showed a lot of artistry.

    I FLOVE that song. It’s my favorite KC song and that’s saying a lot cuz Since U Been Gone is like my anthem haha.

    But anyway, what is a true artist anyway? Is Taylor Swift a true artist cuz she writes good pop-country songs that appeal largely to teen girls? Was Frank Sinatra a true artist since he sang others’ songs? Besides, is Taylor even a “great songwriter”? I just don’t find her songs universal the way great songwriters’ songs are. But like I said, she is very talented. I absolutely get her appeal and she’s a sweet girl, and definitely deserves her success. She makes popular music that sells well and should be recognized. So she can’t sing live, and got slammed by a bunch of critics. Big whoop. Scott Borchetta should’ve let it go.

    Just because she is a celebrity, she’s expected to be all polite and PC.

    Yeah, PC is boring. Show me personality and humor and some bite over PC-robots any day. She says what a lot of others are afraid to because they’re so busy being PC. I love me some David Cook, but his public self-restraint is too much some times =P.

  • hicksaholic

    Keel and Movin2thebeat,
    For what it’s worth I agree completely with you.
    No one can argue Taylor is a “commercially” successful songwriter. Some could argue that Taylor is a very good songwriter. I still don’t see how anyone can argue that Taylor is a good singer.

  • thesheriff

    hahahahahah This is when I adore Kelly!!!!

    Just admit it dude! She sucked!!

    I respect Taylor – I really do. I like her and Gaga and anyone else that is makin’ it without coming off of AI. But really – let’s see how good she can write in 5 years. I’m not completely sold on her abilities as she moves into adulthood. And when she slings her hair around in non rythmic fashion…I wanna pull her right off the stage by said hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I agree with someone upthread that feels AI really hasn’t given birth to a strong “artist” yet…but some great vocalists in Kelly, Carrie, and Jordin and average writers in Kelly, Chris, and David. Performers/entertainers?? Fantasia, Taylor, and Adam. That’s how I see them anyway.

  • Keel

    Tweets from

    @kelly_clarkson http://www.iamkelly.wordpress.com Sorry my blog isn’t more ‘happy’ but I can’t stand ignorance or disrespect. Next time maybe a happy one

    @kelly_clarkson RE: http://bit.ly/90wr0Q Carrie/Taylor are both talented. Everybody likes something different. No one deserves to be belittled either way.

  • jga94

    @kelly_clarkson RE: http://bit.ly/90wr0Q Carrie/Taylor are both talented. Everybody likes something different. No one deserves to be belittled either way.

    Amen to this….Kelly only responded to Scott because he took a swipe at the AI alums…let’s not try to be like Scott…

  • TylerWV

    Scott Borschetta has done great promoting Taylor. She is his new label’s meal ticket but that doesnt make her an artist, blah blah. If you catch the last CMA Awards show on CMT, which was after the Kanye West affair and beginning of Taylor’s award frenzy, you will see Borschetta’s total shock when Taylor received the Vocalist award. He not only was visibly shocked, I thought he was going to fall out of his chair. Even he didnt expect her to win that one. I can’t fault her for winning these awards, I fault the “artists and industry insiders” who are voting for her. They all know she can write for the young crowd but can’t sing. Period! He can put all the window dressing on it he wants, but a singer she ain’t. Its about time the media start bringing up that fact too. Its wrong to deny artists that have earned the award to give it to someone who is a product of promotion. All 4 ladies she beat out can sing but she gets the award??? Popeater had a great article addressing this on front page of AOL this week saying the fallout from Grammy wins was about to break loose. Grammys used to be about quality, not the best selling anything. They caved in this year like all the other award shows.

  • Bearcatgrad9912

    Let’s not get carried away now. Idol has produced some very good singers but true artists? I’m not so sure about that.

    Good point. I actually respect Ms Swift greatly as an artist, and I don’t know if any of the idols are as good a songwriter as her. Actually, none of them are I would say.

    Apparently you all have never heard of Brooke White, Jason Castro, or Kris Allen. Let me enlighten you. Buy some of their music that they have penned and sing and you’ll be impressed :)

  • Truthiness

    Well, I happen to think Taylor is a pretty lame songwriter too. Her tunes are simplistic and her lyrics are insipid. There is a way to write about teen experience without stringing together a bunch of cliches about princesses, fairy tales, cheerleaders, high heels, and all that crap. Her songwriting makes me lose IQ points.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly and excellently expressed.

  • TwigLA

    Scott Borchetta really over-reacted to the criticism of Taylor. His painting of her as the voice of a generation, the only one who can emote a song, etc ad nauseum was ludicrous. In his open letter he seemed to be declaring war on the critics. If I were Taylor I’d be embarrassed by him.

    I don’t know if Kelly over-reacted in kind, since Scott didn’t name names. But I loved reading what she had to say. I loved her ‘hit the RIGHT notes’ comment.

  • Truthiness

    Interesting to see this story up on the websites of Eonline, EW, Rolling Stone, NYT, among others. And pretty much everyone agrees with Kelly and is getting her point, that wasn’t against Taylor in any way, this is against Scott’s unnecessarily bringing in the Idols and trying to excuse Taylor really bad vocal performance.

    So yeah, Team Kelly seems to be the theme of the day. As it should be.

  • casey718

    Poor singing and trite song lyrics aside, I happen to think Taylor has a talent for writing catchy hooks (if she in fact does do this herself). I believe that constructing memorable (ear-wormy!) melodies and chord progressions are easier said than done.
    The problem with winning a Grammy for best album of the year is that when people hear you LIVE, and it doesn’t coincide with what they hear on the album, something’s not right. Everyone has their off days but this is taking it to the extreme.

  • TwigLA

    Bearcatgrad9912 wrote: Apparently you all have never heard of Brooke White, Jason Castro, or Kris Allen. Let me enlighten you. Buy some of their music that they have penned and sing and you’ll be impressed

    I was going to say the same Bearcat. Add David Cook to that list. ‘Permanent’ is one of the greatest songs to be penned by an Idol alum.

  • Mtlfan

    Bearcatgrad9912 wrote: Apparently you all have never heard of Brooke White, Jason Castro, or Kris Allen. Let me enlighten you. Buy some of their music that they have penned and sing and you’ll be impressed

    and let’s not forget David cook.

    ITA. Personally I’m very impressed with Kris’s songwriting. I think he can potentially become a hit maker

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    Dylan never sounded great, not now, not then, not ever, so I don’t what you meant by smoking. His voice changed and is now more gravelly (sometimes almost Tom Waits-like), and his singing style changed, and perhaps his singing skill improved (well, perhaps, I’m not going to argue if someone wants to challenge me on this point). His is/was certainly not the polished singing voice, but it is this rawness and roughness that some people find compelling and powerful in his singing. I used to dislike his singing style (thought it tuneless and affected), but happened to be going through his entire catalog last week (well not quite entirely, because there is a lot bootleg stuff which I haven’t gone through yet) which I thought was going to be a slog, but it actually turned out to be quite enjoyable. He is very good, the obvious deficiency is actually an assert.

    This is exactly how I feel about him. Ten years ago, I used to be just like everyone here who likes hearing technical vocal perfection. But my musical taste has since evolved and now, I consider Bob Dylan to be a god, a gift of music, his voice is so refreshing and full of meaning and just other-worldly. It’s the way he interprets songs – he breathes life into his songs. I guess that’s what Taylor fans feel with Taylor’s music too. That’s what I feel with artists like Jack Johnson and Bon Iver and Regina Spektor. These are not necessarily technical singers, but they have the kind of voice that just transcends superficiality.

  • JudyL

    Truthiness made me curious about the other sites and they are indeed basically team Kelly. Scott is going to be sorry for his remarks because with the attention this is getting, Taylor’s next public performance is going to be analyzed by everyone. Even those who gave her a pass before will want to chime in now.

  • sue

    Oh snap, I love me some Kelly. You go girl, tell them bitches off. As cheesy as idol is, they sure produce some amazing talent. I haven’t heard ONE good live performance from Swift at all. It’s all good, she is a goldmine right now so of course folks will kiss her ass. I am 100% on team Kelly.

  • tinawina

    Apparently you all have never heard of Brooke White, Jason Castro, or Kris Allen. Let me enlighten you. Buy some of their music that they have penned and sing and you’ll be impressed :)

    LMAO! Fair enough. I own Brooke, Cookie and Kris’s stuff, I think they are all good writers (especially Brooke), but I think overall Taylor has the edge. Or the co-writers. Somebody. heh. Hooks, melody, lyrics all fitting together in a catchy, memorable, package… she does it more consistently, to me.

  • lorismile

    The best thing about Kelly’s response is that she didn’t diss Taylor at all, just the head of her label.

    Kinda sad that the only Idol with enough balls to come out and defend Idol is Kelly. Saying good job to Kelly is not the same as defending the show that gave you the big break.

    ETA…I have always said I would enjoy her music more if someone else sang it.

  • FolkFan

    I’m very glad that Kelly said this, because really? Who else could have? To avoid the “aww, that Idol is just jealous” response, it needed to be one of the big superstars who has had multiple albums go multiple-platinum. So: Kelly or Carrie. And Carrie couldn’t really have been the one saying it, given the sense that she is truly a direct competitor of Taylor.

  • sma11ie

    That’s what I feel with artists like Jack Johnson and Bon Iver and Regina Spektor. These are not necessarily technical singers, but they have the kind of voice that just transcends superficiality.

    Interesting– I love these three artists, and I’ve seen Regina Spektor and Bon Iver live, and they are both FANTASTIC live. They aren’t big voices, but they hit the right notes, as Kelly would say. Regina Spektor, in particular, has a much stronger voice that one would think.

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    Interesting– I love these three artists, and I’ve seen Regina Spektor and Bon Iver live, and they are both FANTASTIC live. They aren’t big voices, but they hit the right notes, as Kelly would say. Regina Spektor, in particular, has a much stronger voice that one would think.

    Sometimes a bum note holds more truth than a perfect one. Billie Holiday is not a particularly rangy vocalist, but whenever she sings an off-key note, there’s something so compelling and spiritual about it. It’s the kind of singing that draws deep into one’s soul and brings out pain and beauty and other visceral realities of this world. Although I’m not a fan, I totally understand why Rolling Stone, Blender, and Boston Globe gave Fearless rave reviews.

  • savgal

    Thought that just occurred to me — a man can have a gravelly voice that’s all over the place (Dylan, Kristofferson, Springsteen, etc.) and be a legend, but the bar for a woman’s voice is set much higher. Maybe it’s the same logic as a man with graying hair and a few wrinkles can be sexy, but women can’t age.
    IMHO, Taylor is a good songwriter in that she writes about the youthful angst that she’s experienced, and the songs are catchy enough that I find my middle-aged self singing along with the radio while driving. Will be interesting to see what her writing is like in ten years, after she’s experienced possibly a serious relationship, having children, or loss of a loved one.

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    Interesting– I love these three artists, and I’ve seen Regina Spektor and Bon Iver live, and they are both FANTASTIC live. They aren’t big voices, but they hit the right notes, as Kelly would say. Regina Spektor, in particular, has a much stronger voice that one would think.

    Sometimes a bum note holds more truth than a perfect one. Billie Holiday was not a particularly rangy vocalist, but whenever she sang an off-key note, there’s something so compelling and spiritual about it. It’s the kind of singing that draws deep into one’s soul and brings out pain and beauty and other visceral realities of this world. Although I’m not a fan, I totally understand why Rolling Stone, Blender, and Boston Globe gave Fearless rave reviews.

  • sallysimmons

    I think Kelly’s just pissed because she knows the guy has a point. She so wants to be a songwriter, but she flopped at it and had to go back to singing manufactured hits. That guy hit right at the heart of her insecurities and so she lashed out.

    Meantime, he was right. Music isn’t about hitting the right notes Kelly. It just isn’t and you know it.

    American Idol is fake in that way because it makes viewers think that’s what matters. It never has and it never will.

  • glamfan

    what??? taylor swift is a great live singer- maybe awards shows are not the best judge, but watch her performances on AOL Sessions. To imply that she is nothing more than a good songwriter is ridiculous. As it was stated, there was a technical issue at the Grammy’s and she had a hard time hearing herself. The same thing happened to ADAM at an award show and we all know he is a fantastic live singer, so it happens to everyone. i also think the key was too high for taylor on her duet.

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    I think Kelly’s just pissed because she knows the guy has a point. She so wants to be a songwriter, but she flopped at it and had to go back to singing manufactured hits. That guy hit right at the heart of her insecurities and so she lashed out.

    Hold it right there. Kelly didn’t flop because her songwriting was bad. It was more because of the public’s average tastes. The songs she has written in My December were made for people who can appreciate high art. Have you even listened to masterpieces like Maybe, Chivas, Sober, Irvine and Hear Me? These are among the best songs ever written last decade. As you can see in my previous posts, I’ve been defending Taylor because I have a soft spot for artists like her. But in the songwriting department, it is my humble opinion that Kelly rules.

  • Mark

    I think Kelly’s just pissed because she knows the guy has a point. She so wants to be a songwriter, but she flopped at it and had to go back to singing manufactured hits. That guy hit right at the heart of her insecurities and so she lashed out.

    That’s… kind of insane, really. I don’t think it had any thing to do with deep-lingering insecurities on her part. And he didn’t really have a strong point, in context. If you read it totally at face value of “singing isn’t about hitting notes”, then, yes, he does, but I doubt that Kelly, a strong interpretive singer in her own right, would disagree. In the context of that Grammy performance, though? It doesn’t hold up, at all; it was a half-assed excuse for a bad performance, and he categorically trashed a group of singers in the industry while doing so.

    what??? taylor swift is a great live singer- maybe awards shows are not the best judge, but watch her performances on AOL Sessions. To imply that she is nothing more than a good songwriter is ridiculous. As it was stated, there was a technical issue at the Grammy’s and she had a hard time hearing herself. The same thing happened to ADAM at an award show and we all know he is a fantastic live singer, so it happens to everyone. i also think the key was too high for taylor on her duet.

    There were some interesting points elsewhere (the headlines thread with lucy, in particular) that did get to the issue of awards shows. But even in acoustic settings, her voice simply doesn’t hold up consistently at all.Her SNL performance was just as off-key, for one, and that wasn’t a big band setting at all. As to interpretative skill… it’s not really there, either. She’s simply not a skilled live singer.

    (FWIW, I have nothing against Taylor in particular. She writes catchy, commercial material that is, on the whole, well done. I wouldn’t consider it the best in high art or anything (as noted, she is cliche heavy), but it’s good for what it is)

    (Also; I find it kind of annoying that this issue is only being brought around with indignation now, of all times. Taylor’s been singing poorly at various events for a long, long time. It’s not news. It’s been noted before, and, on the whole, kind of ignored and dismissed, and that wasn’t all a bad thing, because she was recognized as a songwriting talent and that was that. Then, after her Grammy wins, she gets ragged on a whole lot, despite having had plenty of accolades before. And the indignation centers mostly on ATOY which, ahem, isn’t even relevant to live singing? I just don’t get it.)

  • glamfan

    please tell me how this is anything but a flawless, IN TUNE performance from taylor swift. she can sing, y’all.
    http://music.aol.com/video/white-horse-aol-sessions/taylor-swift/2361882

  • May

    Smallie I love Regina Spekter and I’m convinced we have the same taste (although if you like Taylor Swift, don’t read any more of this post because it will ruin our musical concordance!)

    Well, I happen to think Taylor is a pretty lame songwriter too. Her tunes are simplistic and her lyrics are insipid. There is a way to write about teen experience without stringing together a bunch of cliches about princesses, fairy tales, cheerleaders, high heels, and all that crap.

    Keel, I hear you. In fairness to Taylor though, I do think her writing is appropriately juvenile for her age and she does seem to have a talent for writing catchy lyrics. It’s not her high sales that I find baffling. I could easily picture myself enjoying (and being impressed by) that kind of cutesy girly stuff when I was a teenager. What really surprises me is that a bunch of experienced adults in the music industry sat around a table (figuratively speaking) and convinced each other that it was the best album in 2009. Even before this Grammy nonsense, I was scratching my head over the concept of her being a “crossover artist” with widespread appeal, especially as I have yet to see any 25-year old guy rocking out to one of her cheerleader songs in public.
    And seriously, if we are going to start rating people based on sales and popularity, then we might as well nominate Miley Cyrus for an Oscar for her stunning role as Hannah Montana…or even that annoying little chipmunk who was quite a draw over the holidays..except he’s animated..oh well.

    I love Kelly for what she said. Speaking of which, this guy’s spastic but hilarious Grammy commentary just sums up how I felt about the Grammys (Warning: some of you will likely find him annoying! LOL)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFy8xSeHItY

  • Hazehel

    Sometimes a bum note holds more truth than a perfect one. Billie Holiday is not a particularly rangy vocalist, but whenever she sings an off-key note, there’s something so compelling and spiritual about it.

    It depends on which Billie Holiday you mean. She was a pretty decent singer early on, you can detect the odd off-notes in early recordings, but overall she is listenable. Later on she just sounded bad, full of off-notes and annoying mannerisms. I certainly wondered what the fuss was about her when I first heard her recordings because they don’t sound good at all (those were later recordings), probably all the drinks and drugs affected her singing.

    Anyway, it’s a different situation between people like Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift (or those people you mentioned – most of them sounds reasonably good, although I don’t really like Regina Spektor in the only album I heard of her, I think it’s her songs rather than her voice that I don’t like.). Bob Dylan sang his songs the way he wanted to sing, but Taylor Swift can’t sing her song the way the way it was meant to be sung. Bob Dylan has his own vibes, and it is actually surprising how expressive his voice can be, however imperfect his voice may be. Whereas when Taylor Swift sings out of tune, she just sounds bad.

    (Just noticed I mispelt “asset” earlier. Damn.)

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    Keel, I hear you. In fairness to Taylor though, I do think her writing is appropriately juvenile for her age and she does seem to have a talent for writing catchy lyrics.

    There are dozens of albums way better than Taylor’s such as those released by Animal Collective, U2, Wilco, and Regina Spektor. But I’m just glad she won over BEP, Beyonce, and Gaga whose music I honestly believe are garbage. Well, actually, I think Dave Matthews Band’s album is a tad better than Taylor’s but I’m just really glad that she took the prize.

    As for her writing being juvenile, I hear that she has written those songs four or five years ago. I think it’s important for an artist to write age-appropriate lyrics and not grow up all of a sudden. That’s how you come full circle. In your teens, you should write about crushes and teenage angst and all that. And then when you hit your twenties/thirties, you move on to more mature themes such as broken relationships, family issues, etc. When you reach middle age, that’s when you start ruminating on deeper subjects.

  • glamfan

    to whoever thinks taylor swift’s lyrics about “fairytales” are crap- i’m sorry you feel that lyrics about heartbreak and wanting to find real love is “crap.” at least she’s not writing about partying and taking the clothes off of every boy she sees like ke$ha.

    “in your teens, you should write about crushes and teenage angst and all that. and then when you hit your twenties/thirties, you move on to more mature themes such as broken relationships, family issues, etc. when you reach middle age, that’s when you start ruminating on deeper subjects.”

    OR, if you’re bill kaulitz from tokio hotel, you write about living each second to the fullest before age 10, your parents’ divorce and your grandmother’s death at age 13, and the forgotten children of the world at age 16. just thought i’d throw that in there. :)

  • http://musicgoesforever.blogspot.com samgamgee

    “It depends on which Billie Holiday you mean. She was a pretty decent singer early on, you can detect the odd off-notes in early recordings, but overall she is listenable. Later on she doesn’t sound good at all, I certainly wondered what the fuss was about her when I first heard her recordings because they don’t sound good at all (those were later recordings), probably all the drinks and drugs affected her singing.”

    Oh, I prefer her later recordings. I liked how she sounded off-key and all. There’s wisdom in that kind of voice. Same with Whitney. I hated her divaish, perfect voice in her early albums. But now that her voice has considerably suffered from drug abuse, it seemed like it sounded more mature and powerful. It’s the kind of voice that you have to earn through life’s experiences. It communicates more truths than a perfectly pristine voice.

    sorry for my English

  • Keel

    Age appropriate lyrics don’t have to be insipid, and hers are, IMO. I have no problem with finding true love and believing in fairy tales when you’re young, but she utterly fails to exhibit the slightest bit of originality or self-awareness when she expresses those thoughts in song and for people to somehow call that “great songwriting” really does boggle. But that’s just my opinion and obviously the American music buying public and lots of smart people on this blog disagree with me. So my disagreement shouldn’t really bother her fans. You can’t win ‘em all.

    As for the, “she can really sing great live” line of argument? LOLOLOLOL

  • kk613

    People have been saying “well Taylor is an awesome songwriter and blah blah blah”- “She wear short skirts, I wear tshirts” is not great songwriting.

  • glamfan

    “as for the “she can really sing great live” line of argument? LOLOLOL”

    wow. so you’re telling me you watched the video of her singing white horse on aol sessions i posted and think she can’t sing? i’m the one laughing because you obviously can’t hear when something IS in tune. there’s no hope for people who don’t even give someone a chance. but laugh away though, it’ll make you feel better.

  • Keel

    I’m very glad that Kelly said this, because really? Who else could have? To avoid the “aww, that Idol is just jealous” response, it needed to be one of the big superstars who has had multiple albums go multiple-platinum. So: Kelly or Carrie. And Carrie couldn’t really have been the one saying it, given the sense that she is truly a direct competitor of Taylor.

    Seriously. If Cook or even Kris or Daughtry had written the blog, it would be all about their being ‘jus jellus’ and ‘big mean guy bullies poor Taylor’. Even Kelly’s getting dissed by some because they think she’s ‘jus jellus’ too. And she’s freaking Kelly Clarkson!!

  • sma11ie

    May, I feel the same way about Taylor as you. I appreciate her, and understand the appeal, and I don’t dislike her, but that’s about it.

    Even before this Grammy nonsense, I was scratching my head over the concept of her being a “crossover artist” with widespread appeal, especially as I have yet to see any 25-year old guy rocking out to one of her cheerleader songs in public.

    I know 25-year old guys who listen to top 40 crap (and there are a lot of guys like that) who passively like her. Like I said, I understand her appeal– a lot of my friends like her.

  • HeidiL

    Interestingly enough I drive a carpool of 6 teenage boys two mornings a week. I was shocked to find out that they all LOVE Taylor Swift. They think she is beautiful and sweet and sings well. They think Lady GaGa is a freak but like some of her songs. Kesha and Britany are trash. I was surprised at all of this information because I would have thought that it would not be “cool” for teenage boys to like Taylor Swift. These aren’t goody two shoes boys either. They are athletes and definitely have their not so nice moments!!

  • carolinacharms

    Kelly kicks ass!

  • riaspark17

    I think Taylor Swift’s songs are catchy. Not the biggest fan, but I can see her appeal. However, I’m still not sure the girl can sing live. Ok, I’ll give it to her label chief that maybe the sound was messed up for her this time and maybe this perf was a fluke.

    Except this is the third performance I’ve seen of Taylor’s at an awards show–in other words, on LIVE television. And it’s the third bad one. I can’t keep giving her the benefit of the doubt. Sure, she sounded good on those AOL sessions. But those weren’t live, as far as a I know. Plenty of time to redo and clean it up.

  • Keel

    wow. so you’re telling me you watched the video of her singing white horse on aol sessions i posted and think she can’t sing? i’m the one laughing because you obviously can’t hear when something IS in tune.

    Wow, you found one youtube of Taylor singing live while in tune. If you spent two days on youtube, you might even find another one or two. But still singing in tune does not equal singing great live. Nothing about what she did in that clip could be considered great live singing.

    But don’t worry about my hearing, I am not the only one or the first that has commented that it wasn’t just her Grammy performance where she sung out of tune, but that it’s pretty much a consistent thing with her:

    LA times blog: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2010/02/on-the-taylor-swift-defensive.html

    In hindsight, Swift’s Grammy appearance wasn’t all that different from all her other live television performances

    USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2010-02-02-taylornext02_ST_N.htm

    Critics have panned her recent live TV performances as pitchy. The Grammy duet with Stevie Nicks was no exception. “Now, everybody knows that Taylor Swift can’t sing,” influential blogger Bob Lefsetz wrote after the performance.

    Actress Archives: http://www.actressarchives.com/news.php?id=20948

    We guess when you’re used to you main money-maker winning every single award she’s up for, and being pretty unanimously beloved by the entire world, it can come as a shock when people bother to point out what we all know – the girl can’t really sing.

    Rueters UK: http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/2010/02/04/taylor-swift-wins-grammys-loses-music-critics/

    It’s not the first time that Swift’s vocal prowess has come under fire during the singer-songwriter’s rapid rise to the top and a marketing campaign that has put her just about everywhere in the last six months. In the past, Swift’s managers have blamed some shaky moments on nerves and the technical constraints of live performances, while pointing to a string of sell-out concerts and her undoubted ability to connect with the angst of young teens going through their first loves.

    From another Reuters UK blog: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5AJ4ME20091123

    “Wobbly” and “embarrassingly weak” are some of the comments — many from disgruntled fans of traditional country music — found on web sites after recent live performances, including on television show “Saturday Night Live.”

    Cleveland Scene: http://www.clevescene.com/c-notes/archives/2010/02/04/in-defense-of-taylor-swifts-voice

    You probably know I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. No apologies. I loved her self-titled debut the first time I heard it in 2006, and 2008’s Fearless was one of my favorite albums of the year.

    But she has a little trouble singing onstage. Swift’s first appearance on Saturday Night Live last year was terrible, marred by her flat, off-key voice

    I could go on. But what does it matter that she’s not a very talented singer (at all)? As far as I can tell, she’s not being lauded for her singing; she’s being lauded for her songwriting. And there the majority of critics do seem to agree that she’s talented. But really, let’s not argue about Taylor’s ability to sing great live. Her countless performances on awards shows and her SNL appearance show that she is a weak, weak singer.

  • stelladallas

    I don’t think Taylor is a good songwriter, either. Her songs sound like she is making up the lyrics as she goes along. When I first heard her sing, I thought it was some kind of joke. And let’s face it…if she wasn’t pretty, she probably wouldn’t have the career and popularity that she is experiencing right now.

  • sunchick

    Go Kelly. I think what she was standing up for, or railing against, I guess, more appropriately, is the dissmissive way Taylor’s label dude lumped all Idols together as if they aren’t individual talents with individual strengths and weaknesses. I hate that kind of sweeping generalization crap too. I doubt that label guy is aware of the writing credits on any AI alums albums.

    As for Taylor Swift, I’ve never been interested in her singing or her songwriting, so whatever. What the label guy is forgetting, though, is that dating a Jonas didn’t exactly hurt her career early on. And then there was the whole fake pregnancy rumor breaking right before Fearless dropped as I recall, and how she got her heart broken by the Jonas or something. Blah blah blah… So yeah, what’s a more legitimate way to get yourself thrust into the public eye….on a reality show singing competition, or in the tabloids? Glass houses, stones, etc.

  • glamfan

    Keel- I’ll let you go on and think what you want to think.
    I’d just like to say that I was floored when I first heard her sing live because I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. we clearly have a different opinion of “great live singing.” you either like her voice or you don’t- since you can’t find anything technically wrong with a performance, it is now a subjective thing, and that’s not entirely fair, but it is the way it is. even if i didn’t like someone’s voice, i would be able to acknowledge if they were a good singer. i was personally touched by that performance, which you didn’t find anything great about, and i still remember the first time i saw it a year ago. touched not just by her expressiveness when she sings but also by her ability to use such a range of different colors in her voice that you can’t find in many other singers. there are a million people that agree with me. i could honestly care less what any critics have to say- critics most often have no clue what they’re talking about. in the end, she’s the one with the four grammy’s, and she deserves them.

    to everyone, this whole kelly being mad thing has gotten way out of proportion. my interpretation of the comment from taylor’s label was that the grammy’s is not a “competition” like american idol, it’s a celebration. that’s it. i find it really funny that people are so offended, as if the whole of america hasn’t said something bad about american idol once before in their lives.

  • JR Labrador

    And so the brief and terrifying reign of the terminally winsome Miss Swift comes to end. I can understand Mr. Borchetta’s instinct to protect his bread and butter but his response was particularly hamfisted and misguided. You can’t slander your way out of a mess. It only buys you a sh&#storm of wank.

    I agree that only Kelly could’ve credibly responded and I’m while glad she did so; I’m not so sure it was completely necessary since Mr. Borchetta’s idiocy was plainly apparent to anyone with a functional set of ears.

    Well cool, different strokes and all. But my mom has loves Dylan, has tons of his albums, and who has heard him several times for many years now, says that he’s very inconsistent live. Sometimes he sounds okay, sometimes he sounds like crap and you never know which Dylan you’re going to get when you go. Though I would say based on seeing him at our corporate party a few years ago, he sounded like crap live. Oh and that it was sads that he performed at our corporate bday shindig. I mean dude. But I guess shilling for Victoria Secrets should end any kind of squeamishness about commercialism.

    The devil came for Bobby Zimmerman’s soul a long time ago. But that’s a discussion for anthor time and place. (I’ve seen him too! Years and years ago along with the Grateful Dead and Tom Petty in Buffalo on the 4th of July. I’ve been told it was a good show, I’m little hazy on the details myself. Oh to be young and foolish again. Anyway…)

  • cookcricket

    I guess I’ll way in and say Taylor deserved the award and Kelly was right.

    I do have to say though, AI easily dismisses those w/o big voices.

  • Mark

    I do have to say though, AI easily dismisses those w/o big voices.

    It’s gotten better, though. Kris, though rangier (is that a word? Did I just totally pull a Randy with that one?) than he’s usually given credit for, isn’t a bombast vocalist by any stretch. And neither Brooke nor Jason from S7 would be considered vocalists with extensive range in any context. So it’s not always true anymore, though it’s still more the exception that a vocalist is considered fine using a smaller range.

  • Mark

    I’d just like to say that I was floored when I first heard her sing live because I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. we clearly have a different opinion of “great live singing.” you either like her voice or you don’t- since you can’t find anything technically wrong with a performance, it is now a subjective thing, and that’s not entirely fair, but it is the way it is. even if i didn’t like someone’s voice, i would be able to acknowledge if they were a good singer.

    Well, I don’t know. I mean, yeah, my sister could probably sing a serviceable version of “Happy Birthday”, and stay on pitch, and even throw in some interesting cadences and do some stuff with the phrasing and all. Therefore, not having done anything technically wrong, can I call her a wonderful, one-of-a-kind vocalist of her generation just by qualifying the subjective?

    It’s a bit of an apt analogy, really, since that performance of White Horse you brought up wasn’t just an issue of not being a performance that required a lot of range; notewise, it was pretty much a straight line, and she didn’t do much at all with the phrasing or anything that I noted. It’s not really good qualification for saying she can sing adequately live on a professional level, especially given the overwhelming evidence on the whole to the contrary.

    But, again, invoking the subjective gets out of that line of argumentation, I guess. And really out of any argument at all. Whatever.

  • glamfan

    i guess i’m the only one who cares enough to defend taylor on here. and i’m not even a diehard fan. she didn’t win four grammy’s or win in a category over michael jackson because of nothing. i’ll stop discussing this and leave it to her many fans to agree with me, yes subjectively, that her live singing is good, and that she does have a one-of-a-kind voice. there’s a reason so many people bought tickets to see her live shows, and it annoys me when people think somehow famous pop artists make it to the top without being very talented singers that got noticed because of their ability to sing live in the first place and bring something new to the music scene. yes, even ke$ha with her crappy lyrics and auto-tune filled album can actually sing, and got noticed by producers because of that. anyone that is a successful professional singer has already passed the test of singing on a professional level, more than adequately. this is why heidi montag’s album flopped- she can’t sing and the public knows that. it makes no sense to spend so much time playing “american idol judge” to taylor’s singing- this is what the label’s comment was getting at. better to spend your energy doing something positive. but i will defend a singer i like if i feel that they are being judged unfairly.

  • Keel

    even if i didn’t like someone’s voice, i would be able to acknowledge if they were a good singer.

    I’ve said it over and over again on this blog. I do not like Adam Lambert’s voice (the tone of his voice just doesn’t work for me), but damn he’s a good (if not great) singer.

    I’ve also said on this blog (to the chagrin of some of her fans). I do not think there is anything terribly special about Kelly Clarkson’s voice, but damn she’s a great singer.

    I can fully acknowledge that I don’t like someone’s voice while still pronouncing them a good singer and I’ve done it often. But Taylor neither has a good voice nor, as far as I can tell from all the evidence I’ve heard, any great (or even above-average) skill as a live singer.

    And what are you talking about that I can’t find a technical critique of her performances: She has consistent problems staying on pitch. THAT is technical and NOT subjective. Your linking to one video where she did sing on pitch does not negate all the other performances where she sang off pitch and was rightly called on it by critics and TV watchers.

    And have you read the many comments to those post-Grammy articles? There are tons of posts from Taylor fans saying that they went to concerts or saw performances of her singing live and came away unimpressed with her singing. At least those fans were honest enough to admit her poor singing despite enjoying her (studio-recorded) songs.

  • cookcricket

    It’s gotten better, though. Kris, though rangier (is that a word? Did I just totally pull a Randy with that one?) than he’s usually given credit for, isn’t a bombast vocalist by any stretch.

    Yes, and some, maybe many, early on and then after didn’t want to give Kris his due because he “lacked” range.

    Here’s the deal. Taylor sang way out of tune on the Grammys. Now, every other performance she has done is suddenly under scrutiny. Granted there is nothing special about her voice, but she has more than once, twice, many times sung in tune…for the most part. And even if there is nothing special about her voice, there is most definitely something special about her album. That is why she won.

    I still think Kelly did the right thing by “calling out” the head of Taylor’s label re: idol.

  • glamfan

    i clearly was saying that there isn’t anything technically wrong with that one performance- i don’t know where you got the plural from, and i wasn’t trying to negate other performances where she is not as in tune. i was simply pointing out that because of that one performance, even if all her performances were technically good, you still would not consider her a good live singer, and that is where i have issue with her being judged unfairly. a technically good singer is a good singer, just like a technically good violinist is a good violinist. if you don’t think they’re anything special or don’t connect to their musicality, that’s subjective, and doesn’t warrant them being called bad. do you honestly think she would have gotten the most prestigious award in music or a number one album if she was only an average singer or didn’t have a good voice? if she wins a grammy award, no four grammy awards, she has a damn good voice, end of story. there is no higher award. if she is invited to sing live at awards shows and doesn’t pre-record it like other artists, she must have a horrible voice, right? or maybe you should be the judge for the next grammy’s, since you seem to have the authority to judge and know better than they do. or better yet, a music critic, since you like research and people always love critics, right? please get over your need to tear someone down and go write an article about your favorite singer with sufficient evidence to back it up.

  • May

    Regarding Taylor’s songwriting: I had been hearing Taylor Swift’s music on the radio for quite sometime before I realized that it was Taylor Swift. A month ago I made an effort listen to her album because I kept reading that she was such a good songwriter. It came as quite a surprise (and disappointment) to realize that all of those silly songs on the radio that I had been attributing to Miley Cyrus or someone of similar ilk was actually Taylor Swift!

    Someone made a comment about the BEP being less talented than Swift. Now I love the BEP, but I certainly don’t think that their lyrics are anything special either. Like Taylor, they have fun, catchy, silly lyrics (or sometimes no lyrics at all!). However, what makes them special and what sets them apart from Taylor, is their unique sound, the fact that they are great stage performers and the fact that Fergie can sing and dance circles around most female artists. I don’t see Taylor Swift as being in their league. And certainly not in the league of other past and present Grammy winners like Beyonce, Pink, Gaga, Nora Jones, Alannis M, Alicia Keys, Mariah C, etc. She has potential, but you don’t give out Grammy awards for potential.

  • Keel

    do you honestly think she would have gotten the most prestigious award in music or a number one album if she was only an average singer or didn’t have a good voice?

    Why yes, because she was awarded the Grammy based on her studio-recorded album that had her obviously massively auto-tuned vocals on it. Let me know when Taylor Swift wins a Grammy for Best Live Album.

    Also, Album of the Year is an award that rewards not only the artist and songwriter but also the producer and record engineer on the album. Considering what the latter two people had to work with as far as the vocals, I think they thoroughly deserved that award. Also, as I have stated above, music critics have praised Taylor’s songwriting so there’s that.

    As for Taylor’s number one album, Britney Spears also gets #1 albums and she can’t sing either, though she covers it up with the lip-synching. Also in the same vein is Jennifer Lopez. She’s had at least one number one album and she has the weakest, tinniest voice I’ve ever heard.

    But you know, maybe I am just really, really unobservant and Taylor really deserves all her Grammys because of her awesome vocals, and this type of backlash against the Best Album winner’s inability to sing well live happens every single year.

  • justjude

    What taylor has in spades is 1st charisma 2nd Niceness through and through 3rd smarts and ambition 4th connection with her target group!
    She generally sings quite nicely but is not outstanding. Her performance
    with stevie Nicks and her vocals went way off pitch and louder which is
    now explained by her earpiece. Nevertheless, I really felt sick for her as
    we are all aware how harsh the backlash gets.
    I agree that there is “some” substance to Taylors win for her grammys.
    On her behalf, part of me also credits(in a twisted way) Kanye!!
    Still I love to see her on Ellen or other TV performances because I like
    her despite her small shortcomings, as she is just so Damn likeable!!

  • Keel

    ETA: Damn, won’t let me edit.

    Also, the Grammys are known for also recognizing not just artistic merit but also commercial success. With Taylor’s (autotuned) album getting generally good reviews from critics and her huge commercial success, it was not unnatural that she would get recognized for that (though people may wonder as to whether she deserved the top prize).

    The rather unfortunate thing for Taylor is that she performed so poorly (even by Taylor standards) on the same night that two other heavy contenders for the award who also did well commercially (Beyonce and Lady Gaga) and both those ladies demonstrated that they could sing well live (and they have done so repeatedly in the past). She just got plain outclassed and left viewers scratching their heads at why she won and not one of the others.

    Plus, honestly, the meme about Taylor not being able to sing well live has been out there for a while. As someone earlier posted, it’s the Pink Elephant in the room. It’s just with the Kanye thing and her being so young, people have not really made a big deal of it. But with her winning the big prize, yeah, people have started to pipe up about the crappy vocals.

  • Buderschnookie

    Also, Album of the Year is an award that rewards not only the artist and songwriter but also the producer and record engineer on the album. Considering what the latter two people had to work with as far as the vocals, I think they thoroughly deserved that award.

    So AOTY is the “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” award?
    Hee.

  • Tess

    The Grammys have lost their lustre over the years and winning one is no longer the big deal it once was. It has begun to reward the commercially successfuly instead of the Artistic, which was the intention when it was set up. Just like the Oscars…grammy voters are subject to the same intense Hype….and manytimes deep pockets have won the awards.

    I really think that awarding a grammy to a 19 year old fairy princess with a mediocre voice and controversial artistic merit was a slap in the face to the integrity of the industry. And the concern of many about the grammy “product” was really driven home when the winner was not only sub-par but horribly outclassed by a 62 year old duet partner.

    There has been a storm brewing in the industry for quite a while and I think that this incident maybe the catalyst that breaks things wide open. And I am sure Taylor’s peeps are way into damage control right now…because if all of this gets really long legs it won’t be pretty.

  • Valentin432

    The Grammys have lost their lustre over the years and winning one is no longer the big deal it once was. It has begun to reward the commercially successfuly instead of the Artistic, which was the intention when it was set up. Just like the Oscars…grammy voters are subject to the same intense Hype….and manytimes deep pockets have won the awards.

    This is way overstated, just look back at the past two year winners for album of the year: Raising Sand and River: The Joni Letters. Neither were the most successfull comercial album or had the hype of Coldplay or Kanye West but both were awarded for artistic achievement.

    You may hate Taylor Swift but a lot music critics have highlighted her album as one of the best of the year, so it’s not just about the number of sales.

    ETA: it’s unfortunate that this has become a bash Taylor Swift thread when Kelly was clearly not talking about her.

  • abbysee

    it’s unfortunate that this has become a bash Taylor Swift thread when Kelly was clearly not talking about her.

    Sorta what happens when people come to defend Taylor and totally miss the point of Kelly’s blog in the first place. It was never about Taylor for Kelly, but obfuscation becomes the theme of the day for those who think that only perfect looking people who have boyfriends can have an opinion, and for thin skinned Taylor fans wanting to defend the indefensible, singers should at least be able to sing. Mr. Borchetta lives in a glass house throwing stones shouldn’t be the theme of any day he reps Ms. Swift.

  • ilovenpt123

    It’s true that this should not be a thread to bash Taylor Swift….and Kelly’s response was correct.

    My issues is with all of these music awards – how can you win awards if you can not gives consistently good live performances????

  • lucy

    She just got plain outclassed and left viewers scratching their heads at why she won and not one of the others.

    It’s the year of the tween…. And I’ll just put Susan Boyle into that category, too, since she’s sort of a case of arrested musical development.

    Maybe the music industry is so thrilled that *somebody* keeps actually *buying* music that they’re disposed to award to the hilt any entertainer who appeals to the tweens in a big way!

    Taylor’s 20 now, so she’s going to have to change her schtick soon, I’m thinking, because her young-teen appeal is going to fade quickly. …

  • tiger92

    It’s the year of the tween…. And I’ll just put Susan Boyle into that category, too, since she’s sort of a case of arrested musical development.

    Maybe the music industry is so thrilled that *somebody* keeps actually *buying* music that they’re disposed to award to the hilt any entertainer who appeals to the tweens in a big way!

    I do believe this is a HUGE problem that is just going to become bigger. It seems as if most of the single/album purchases are being made by tweens or country music fans. (BTW, I have nothing against country music!)
    Both of these categories of music listeners are more likely to buy music instead of steal it. Therefore, the charts are ruled by artists who sell to these two groups.Taylor Swift hit both these categories.
    Then the sales help dictate what gets played on the radio. I do believe the tweenies are ruling the radio right now. There is some teen influence thrown in there as well since many teens still download singles.
    That may, or may not, explain why Top 40 radio has become a tween/teen listener heaven. (and almost unbearable to listen to) What’s ironic is they aren’t the ones listening to the radio. They all have ipods in their ears 24/7.

  • standtotheright

    Taylor’s 20 now, so she’s going to have to change her schtick soon, I’m thinking, because her young-teen appeal is going to fade quickly.

    This would be a downright excellent time for TS to go to college.

    Note: I am not saying that everyone in the US needs to attend college. I am not even saying that all writers need to attend college. I am saying that if an artist is facing a growing degree of commentary that his or her thematic inspirations are wearing thin, then going into an intellectual community, where one wrestles with both the technical aspects of writing and with the bigger challenges of developing a worldview, is a good thing.

    And again, I like a few of her songs, and find them no slighter than plenty of the girl-group hits of the 60s that still get played (unless people out there really find the idea of falling in love with a biker at a candy shop and then breaking up with him deeply relevant and resonant), but I already feel like she’s repeated herself, and more ideas come from being around more people with ideas.

  • summersnow

    Yeah!!! I always respect Kelly Clarkson for standing up for AI and not afraid to bow down to TPTB. This gal got some cool personality. Respect! Btw I don’t think AI is now about producing singers who have huge range or hit high notes. Yes, it used to be like that but I think it has evolved into another form where other talents such as ability to play instruments and re-arrange songs are appreciated. In fact, I think they play a huge role in the win of the past and current winners, David Cook and Kris Allen(:Both are songwriters and musicians.

  • windmills

    taylor swift is a great live singer- maybe awards shows are not the best judge, but watch her performances on AOL Sessions.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s very well known that AOL Sessions performances get pitch corrected. Not just Taylor’s although it’s pretty obvious she needs it more than most.

    Claude Kelly tweeted in support of Kelly’s statement.

    http://twitter.com/ClaudeKelly/status/8654151854

    hate 2 instigate but i LOVE Kelly Clarkson’s response 2 Taylor Swift’s rec exec: http://iamkelly.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/scott-borchetta/

    One thing that’s interesting is that another artist on one of Borchetta’s labels is Reba Mcentire who’s a friend of Kelly Clarkson and whose husband is Kelly’s manager. Seeing as Scott Borchetta threw a big temper tantrum at the very idea of anybody criticizing his precious I can only imagine what he’s been saying about Kelly behind the scenes. I wonder if Reba is giving Scott Borchetta a talking to. Somehow I don’t think Reba would take that crap lying down either.

  • newshound61

    To all the people who are saying that Taylor Swift must have a great voice and tons of singing talent because she won grammy awards and other music accolades, I have two words for you:

    Milli Vanilli.

  • Hazehel

    And again, I like a few of her songs, and find them no slighter than plenty of the girl-group hits of the 60s that still get played

    I think that’s an interesting comparison, but I’m afraid the likes of Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus won’t fare well when compared to 60s girl groups. Have a look for example the list of 500 best songs as compiled by Rolling Stone –

    http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs

    22. Be My Baby, The Ronettes
    114. Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home), The Crystals
    125. Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Shirelles
    263. He’s a Rebel, The Crystals
    266. Walking in the Rain, The Ronettes
    279. Chapel of Love, The Dixie Cups
    395. Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand), The Shangri-Las
    447. Leader of the Pack, The Shangri-Las
    460. One Fine Day, The Chiffons
    493. Then He Kissed Me, The Crystals

    And that’s not including groups like The Supremes or Martha and The Vandellas. And yup, the song about biker boyfriend met in candy store is there. You can look at those songs in terms of musical significance – for instance Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound technique or fine song-writing by Carole King, or analyse them in terms of social significance – for example “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” says something about the change in social mores. But whatever, they are just great songs. Some of those are iconic (Da Doo Ron Ron for example) and everyone knows them, any reasonable list of great songs will include them even if you don’t like this Rolling Stone list.

    Will Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus’ songs be included in any list of great song in 40 years time? I seriously doubt it.

  • BootStar

    I don’t care what anybody says. Taylor Swift is a beautiful girl who can sing decent songs she self-penned, but I’ve never seen a live performance of hers that didn’t make me cringe, and her lyrics are good for somebody her age, but I harldy get this “great songwriter” hype that I read everywhere.

    And, for the record, there are plenty of great young singer-songwriters out there. Check out Sarah Jarosz, whose debut album has gotten a lot of critical attention. She’s, OMG, just 17! Or Marketa Irglova, who was 17 when she appeared in the movie Once. Both these young women are fantastic musicians who write their own music and sing on key. I don’t care if neither ever wins a Grammy; they’re in a completely different league than Taylor Swift. (As is Kelly Clarkson!)

  • windmills

    Well Josh Gracin is not amused by Scott Borchetta’s comments.

    http://twitter.com/joshgracin/status/8680550454

    Well Scott Borchetta thinks American Idols aren’t “True Artist”Just makes me more anxious to get this new album done.. Written and produced

    http://twitter.com/joshgracin/status/8681567861

    yes but when u have a major issue with your own artist concerning a certain ability u need To keep your mouth shut.

    http://twitter.com/joshgracin/status/8681774227

    For those of u who don’t know Scott B, he is the head of Taylor Swifts label…..

  • oceana

    I love both Kelly and Taylor. They’re both incredible. I don’t think the label guy’s comment was that insulting. Seems to me like Kelly overreacted.

    I think Taylor Swift is an amazing talent. Funny I never heard any uproar about Cold Play, who sound terrible in some of their live performances. Dave Matthews’ vocals weren’t so stellar on the Grammys either. For some reason Taylor gets picked on. Probably because of her incredible success, which draws plenty of venom. By the way, milli vanilli that’s bullshit. Taylor doesn’t lip synch. That’s an unfair comparison. MV were total fakes. Taylor is not fake.

    I don’t think Taylor gets a lot of studio help. Her vocals on the records aren’t that different than live. Many of her live performances have been fine. I love her songs, and I’m no teen, but I was one once and still relate to the themes she sings about. She’s a well adjusted girl and I’m sure she will go to college but if not, it’s her own business. Where’s all the uproar about people like Britney who has much less talent than Taylor? I think time will show what a talent Taylor is over the decades. Jeez, half those rappers can’t sing, all they do is shout. Where’s the complaints about them and all the awards they get and the money they make? That to me is strange, not a talented young woman who is not the world’s greatest vocalist but who is unique and talented.

    I am saying that if an artist is facing a growing degree of commentary that his or her thematic inspirations are wearing thin,

    And where has this commentary been, besides maybe here? LOL. She sold more than any other album last year. I don’t think she is in any imminent danger of wearing out her welcome. And I’m sure her themes will continue to mature as she matures, but they are already deep enough to resonate with people of all ages. Lots of people were raised with romantic notions that were dashed when they got their first heartbreak, a la “Love Story.”

  • oceana

    there’s a reason so many people bought tickets to see her live shows, and it annoys me when people think somehow famous pop artists make it to the top without being very talented singers that got noticed because of their ability to sing live in the first place and bring something new to the music scene. yes, even ke$ha with her crappy lyrics and auto-tune filled album can actually sing, and got noticed by producers because of that. anyone that is a successful professional singer has already passed the test of singing on a professional level, more than adequately. this is why heidi montag’s album flopped- she can’t sing and the public knows that. it makes no sense to spend so much time playing “american idol judge” to taylor’s singing- this is what the label’s comment was getting at. better to spend your energy doing something positive. but i will defend a singer i like if i feel that they are being judged unfairly.

    Thank you for saying this. I agree. I see Taylor put down a lot on this blog, but not others who don’t always sound great live. I think it comes down to her success this year. I almost hope she’s less successful next year so people will stop slinging arrows at her.

    Taylor’s appeal isn’t her strong vocals, but what she does with her voice, the style of her songs and her phrasing, and the songs themselves, musically and lyrically and thematically. They don’t appeal to everyone but that’s okay. No need to drag her over the coals every few weeks though.

    I own all her music and it is always a welcome sound on my ipods. Obviously millions of people feel the same. She didn’t try out for American Idol, no. It’s not the only way to achieve success. A lot of singers say they would never have made it on that show. The show does concentrate mostly on vocals, which is probably the point the guy was making, and there’s truth to it.

  • tiger92

    And where has this commentary been, besides maybe here? LOL.

    The posters on mjs are not the only ones discussing this. I’ve heard the complaints about her live singing all over the tv and radio this week. It’s also all over the internet. There are still lots of fans who are supporting her and will continue to buy her albums, but there are many people wondering why she can’t stay on pitch when performing live.
    From an earlier post:

    “But don’t worry about my hearing, I am not the only one or the first that has commented that it wasn’t just her Grammy performance where she sung out of tune, but that it’s pretty much a consistent thing with her:

    LA times blog: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2010/02/on-the-taylor-swift-defensive.html

    In hindsight, Swift’s Grammy appearance wasn’t all that different from all her other live television performances

    USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2010-02-02-taylornext02_ST_N.htm

    Critics have panned her recent live TV performances as pitchy. The Grammy duet with Stevie Nicks was no exception. “Now, everybody knows that Taylor Swift can’t sing,” influential blogger Bob Lefsetz wrote after the performance.

    Actress Archives: http://www.actressarchives.com/news.php?id=20948

    We guess when you’re used to you main money-maker winning every single award she’s up for, and being pretty unanimously beloved by the entire world, it can come as a shock when people bother to point out what we all know – the girl can’t really sing.

    Rueters UK: http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/2010/02/04/taylor-swift-wins-grammys-loses-music-critics/

    It’s not the first time that Swift’s vocal prowess has come under fire during the singer-songwriter’s rapid rise to the top and a marketing campaign that has put her just about everywhere in the last six months. In the past, Swift’s managers have blamed some shaky moments on nerves and the technical constraints of live performances, while pointing to a string of sell-out concerts and her undoubted ability to connect with the angst of young teens going through their first loves.

    From another Reuters UK blog: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5AJ4ME20091123

    “Wobbly” and “embarrassingly weak” are some of the comments — many from disgruntled fans of traditional country music — found on web sites after recent live performances, including on television show “Saturday Night Live.”

    Cleveland Scene: http://www.clevescene.com/c-notes/archives/2010/02/04/in-defense-of-taylor-swifts-voice

    You probably know I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. No apologies. I loved her self-titled debut the first time I heard it in 2006, and 2008’s Fearless was one of my favorite albums of the year.

    But she has a little trouble singing onstage. Swift’s first appearance on Saturday Night Live last year was terrible, marred by her flat, off-key voice

    I could go on. But what does it matter that she’s not a very talented singer (at all)? As far as I can tell, she’s not being lauded for her singing; she’s being lauded for her songwriting. And there the majority of critics do seem to agree that she’s talented. But really, let’s not argue about Taylor’s ability to sing great live. Her countless performances on awards shows and her SNL appearance show that she is a weak, weak singer.”

  • oceana

    The posters on mjs are not the only ones discussing this. I’ve heard the complaints about her live singing all over the tv and radio this week.

    Yes they’re talking about her singing, not the themes of her songs, which is what you were talking about and what I quoted and responded to. Her live singing, that’s a separate issue. You were talking about the themes. So by bringing all those quotes over you are missing the point. Of course we all know they are talking about her singing elsewhere after the grammys. Nobody disputed that.

  • tiger92

    You were talking about the themes she sings about. not the themes of her songs, which is what you were talking about

    What? Where did I say A SINGLE THING about the themes of what Taylor sings about? Please don’t try and put words in my mouth!
    Did you just make that up? Please go back and look at my post at the top of this page! (at 8:56 a.m.)
    Also, the majority of the comments have been about the fact that Taylor can’t stay on pitch. The problem is not her songwriting, but her live singing. A few people have said they don’t find her songwriting to be that interesting. It’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it.

  • oceana

    Tiger, don’t get all worked up. I thought you were the person I quoted. Sorry if I got mixed up. Of course I didn’t “make it up.” Why would I want to do that? But still, you quoted me wrong then, I was talking about themes and responding to the theme subject and that’s what you quoted. So you mis-read my post. The quote you pulled was about themes. Whether you were the original poster or not, you misunderstood the topic and you pulled those quotes to prove something that wasn’t in dispute.

    Also, the majority of the comments have been about the fact that Taylor can’t stay on pitch. The problem is not her songwriting, but her live singing.

    I’m well aware of that, and it was never in question. Here is what I quoted and was responding to:

    I am saying that if an artist is facing a growing degree of commentary that his or her thematic inspirations are wearing thin,

    Me: (and this is what you quoted)

    And where has this commentary been, besides maybe here? LOL. She sold more than any other album last year. I don’t think she is in any imminent danger of wearing out her welcome. And I’m sure her themes will continue to mature as she matures, but they are already deep enough to resonate with people of all ages.

    I was responding to a post about themes, you answered about her singing instead, which is a different issue. And I’m not going to take up any more space explaining again. Hope this makes sense now.

  • tiger92

    Tiger, don’t get all worked up

    Please don’t tell me how to feel. You said 2x that I said something I did not say.

    So you mis-read my post.

    And that could have been pointed out and discussed without you putting words in my mouth or telling me not to get “worked up”.

  • oceana

    Asking if I made it up? That’s not getting worked up? Okay whatever. I made an honest mistake about who wrote the original post and I even apologized. But the main point I was making was not wrong.

  • windmills

    To answer the question of whether anybody else has been talking about how tired the themes of Taylor Swift’s songs are getting, the answer is yes. Here are a couple of examples:

    Slant Magazine pointed it out when her album came out.

    The New York Times has mentioned it and said it again after the Grammys albeit before all the backlash really took flight. The guy’s saying it nicely but his point is Taylor needs to grow up because her songs aren’t credible for somebody who’s 20 going on 21.

    That’s just a couple examples I remember off the top of my head.

  • V8Adam

    Let me try and put it in perspective here………I thought Taylor’s singing at the Grammy was awful, off-pitch, and she was talking through most of the song. To say the least, I hated it, but then comes my 8 year old and 10 year old and they said…”Oh, we want to hear Taylor Swift sing. We love her, and then broke out into the song…”She wear short skirt, I wear T-Shirt…” Believe me, I have none of her music at home, so they must have heard it on radio somewhere and from their friends at school, because my 10 year old said “All my friends love Taylor Swift”. They can identify with her….I sure as he** can’t. Maybe a generation gap thing. All in all though, Taylor can’t sing live, and Kelly was right to call her out on it, especially when the dumb Scott Borschetta attacked AI singers like that. Go Kelly for having the bal** to say it.