Entertainment behind the scenes
Taylor Swift wins Grammys, loses music critics
Taylor Swift’s record label has come out in defense of the young pop/country star after her less-than-stellar performance at the Grammy awards on Sunday had music critics shooting poisoned arrows at her vocal talents.
Swift, 20, took four Grammys on Sunday, including the coveted album of the year for the smash hit “Fearless”, which was also the biggest selling album of 2009. But her haul was somewhat overshadowed by her live Grammy duet with veteran rock singer Stevie Nicks, which The Washington Post called “incredibly wretched” and Ann Powers of The Los Angeles Times described as “tinny and rhythmically flat footed.”
Over to Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Swift’s record label Big Machine Records in Nashville. “Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she is the best emotional singer,” Borchetta told The Tennessean.com. “No one is perfect on any given day. Maybe in that moment, we didn’t have the best night, but in the same breath, maybe we did.”
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.
Veteran country star Naomi Judd also came out for “Team Taylor” , calling her multi-talented and a role model for her generation. “Smarts, manners and class. Why can’t fault-finders see that she is a sorely needed role model? We’re aware of how lyrics and musicians can influence our society. If America ever needed positive role models, it’s now,” Judd said.
But sudden fame also brings the risk of over-exposure. Swift is now out to conquer new audiences with concerts in Japan and Australia. Australia wasn’t too fond of Britney Spears and her lip-synching “Circus” concerts last year.
Will they be kinder to Swift, who plays guitar and piano and who has said she never lip-synchs?