Taylor Swift's label exec defends Grammys performance

Scott Borchetta, whose Big Machine Records released Taylor Swift’s Fearless, has responded to criticism of Swift’s questionably off-key duet with Stevie Nicks during Sunday’s Grammy telecast, according to The Tennesseean. “Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she’s probably the best emotional singer,” he said. “She’s an extraordinary songwriter and her vocal performances are getting better. Everybody is not perfect on any given day.”

More about Taylor Swift at the Grammys:
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks’ Grammys duet: Out of sight, or out of tune?

Taylor Swift collaborator Butch Walker on their much-discussed Grammy performance: ‘a lot of people give her unnecessary grief’

Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year: Did the Grammys get it right?

Comments (231 total) Add your comment
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  • Ugh

    “Everybody is not perfect on any given day”. Huh. Shouldn’t a girl with a major record label be able to perform in tune?? She honestly needs professional voice lessons.

    • sad excuses

      Really, no one expects her to be perfect but we at least expect her to be able to sing in tune and hit the right notes. geeez, maybe the girl should practice more.

      • jEN

        SAD: Why does this exec Scott always leave out the fact that songwriter LIZ ROSE writes most of Taylor’s songs. Yea Liz was invited to the grammys just NOT on stage. They don’t want you to know the truth. So dumb America will feel sorry for Taylor this year cuz she sings off key; 2008 joe jonas did her wrong, 2009 kanye, 2010 stevie nix. What next lol.

      • noizeegirl

        she can sing “in tune” when someone’s AutoTuning her. So tired of all these little talent folks being talked up like they are GOOD. It’s all a COMPUTER people!

      • Darren

        Jen you sure love inventing stories – here is Liz Rose onstage collecting her Grammy http://img238.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=87129_033_122_475lo.jpg

    • jb

      The headline suggested he defended her. The quote did not. The quote actually creates doubt as to if she even deserved a Grammy (her marketing people did, though).

      Also not defended: people’s ears.

      • Cameron

        “Also not defended: people’s ears.”

        LMAO! That made my day.. thanks for that! :)

      • Craig

        Good 1. LMAO!!!

      • Kanye

        Yeah. She ain’t no Beyonce.

      • usahookups

        I love Taylor!

    • Shiny

      I wasn’t a Taylor fan at first but now I respect that she writes her own songs, plays instruments and can read music, which is rare in this prefab Idol world. She writes fun and winsome pop tunes that suit her age; she’s not a pole dancin’ Miley or lip syncin’ Britney. Taylor is a breath of fresh air; a young country version of Loretta Lynn.

      • Dave

        But she CAN’T sing. That’s great that she writes her own songs but if she can’t sing very well maybe she should stick to writing. Just because someone writes an amazing screen play doesn’t mean they can act.

      • mishka

        Maybe Miley did a pole dance but she sang in key from the beginnning to the end. And she’s 16.
        Britney is a gifted performer, her fans wants to see her perform, not butcher their ears.
        20-years-old Crying Swift can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t perform? Stick to the writing, girl, please.

      • Mindy

        Apparently you’re not familiar with the names Chris Daughtry or Carrie Underwood. Both came from Idol, write songs and play guitar plus their live performances sound amazing. Whatever you want to say about Idol, at least we know they can sing live.

      • Bren

        Also, Idols David Cook and Kris Allen write their own songs and play instruments, too. Nothing really “prefab” about them, either.

    • Charles

      I would like to say the Lady G and Elton had a better performance. Kanye outro… Sarcasm font off.

    • Sally in Chicago

      Anytime Beyonce and Pink can sing on trapezes and dangling high in the air….well, if you can’t get on a stage and sing on-key live then you don’t belong with the big boys.

    • Danielle

      Why does this exec Scott always leave out the fact that songwriter LIZ ROSE writes most of Taylor’s songs. Yea Liz was invited to the grammys just NOT on stage. They don’t want you to know the truth. So dumb America will feel sorry for Taylor this year cuz she sings off key; 2008 joe jonas did her wrong, 2009 kanye, 2010 stevie nix. What next lol.

    • Monarky

      That’s precisely why she won 4 Grammy’s and sold almost as many records Worldwide than Kelly Clarkson’s sold in 8yrs! Taylor writes her own songs. Only taking suggestions from Liz Rose.

      Supposedly there was a top crew in both the sound booth and TV broadcasting room. But it sounded like they’re all drunks or Saboteurs! xD

      Here’s Taylor singing on a bus and junk camcorder mic, LIVE! Maybe all you know-it-alls and haters should stuff this in your ears:

  • UGH

    What an excuse.

    • mishka


      They aren’t defending her, they are “exposing her to the fraud the Grammys have become”.
      If Usain Bolt or Michael Phlelps had an imperfect day during the olympics, there would have been no gold medal for both of them.
      Till last sunday, you couldn’t afford to have “just a bad day” at the Grammys, butcher a duet with a music legend then grab the award for “Album of the year”.
      Taylor is cute, nice and x,y,z, but she can’t sing.

  • T

    Ha, cuz a live performance at the Grammys with Stevie Nicks is just another day….

  • Gen of Montreal

    I’ve never heard her perform live in tune. She’s always off-key. Excuses, excuses

  • skiiboski

    At least she tries and isn’t pulling any Ashley Simpson. Train wreck voice though.

  • MM

    I’m sorry, Taylor Swift may be able to write some good music, but her voice is awful. I’ve never seen her give a good live performance because SHE CAN’T SING! She doesn’t even sound the good on her albums.

    • Jan

      I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there with better singing voices, but maybe not as attractive as Taylor, that don’t get the breaks that she gets… Let her write the songs for an artist that does have the voice!

      • Missy

        Taylor’s not even very attractive – she kind of looks like an 18 year old boy with long hair. I’ve heard a lot of people say she’s super cute, but I don’t see it! There are many far more attractive people in the entertainment industry.

        Having said all that, it woudln’t matter if she was a good artist. But the poor girl can’t carry a tun in a bucket and the songs she supposedly writes (she gets a lot of help from her cowriters) have mediocre melodies and very uncreative and unimaginative lyrics.

      • steph

        one of my friends says she looks like an alien. I think it’s the eyebrows.
        My grandpa says she’s going to release a Greatest Hits album and it’ll just be the same song on repeat. lol

      • stacy

        I think she looks like she’s had a facelift, but alien works too! I was so upset when she won all those grammys! Really there were other more deserving artists!

      • pumpkin pie & juice

        People keep complaining about Lady Gaga being ugly, but in reality she’s not ugly at all. It’s the garish makeup she wears that makes her appear unattractive. Wipe the makeup off both Taylor and Gaga, and you’ll see they’re actually equal in beauty. And Gaga has the advantage of being light years ahead of Taylor talent-wise. :)

  • Season

    Yes, Taylor Swift’s voice is weak but Mick Jagger can’t sing, Bob Dylan can’t sing, Neil Young can’t sing, a couple of The Beatles couldn’t/can’t sing.

    • Hutchy

      Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Beatles, Taylor Swift. One of these things is not like the other.

      • Leo


      • LIZ

        she will never last as long as they have..I guarantee when these young girls mainly grow up Taylor will not sell a thing..She will not last forever like these others..

      • Sarah

        Agreed, Liz. She’s already outgrowing her “high school girl with a crush schtick” at 20. I give her three more years.

    • Meg

      It’s an insult to even compare Mick, Dylan and Young to Swift. Her lyrics all tell the same story. And her melodies all sound similar. She can’t even hold a candle to the stage presence of the others. And their voices were unique. Hers is just…weak.

      • Season

        All I mentioned was voice. NOT one of those men can SING! Sorry. I like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles but they CAN’T SING! And for people to criticize that child for her singing voice while praising Jagger and Young is hypocritical.

      • mikee

        You can’t compare them because its totally different styles of music..BUT Mick Jagger is not a great technical singer AT ALL. in fact I’d say he’s a BAD technical singer, but a great song writer, and a legend. But again its too different to even compare.

      • Sally in Chicago

        The diff is that Mick knows he can’t sing so he gives a good show.

      • mishka

        How come you call somebody who can vote a child? The child there is Justin Bieber! People are delusional.

      • stacy

        Season really??!?!?! I guess I’m just so shocked that someone actually said that the Beatles can’t sing!! please listen to Because! I really hope that would change your mind!

    • Melissa

      But all of those people can at least sing ON PITCH. Their voice may be gravelly, and not 100% pristine, which is common of A LOT of big, well-respected singers out there, but not being able to match pitch (like Taylor) almost suggests that she’s tone deaf, which is not such an easy thing to fix, even with lessons.

      • Monica

        I completely agree. There are singer who do not have ‘nice’ voices but are technically proficient enough to sing in the correct key, hitting all the correct pitches consistently. That is a singer’s job.
        And if she can not do that during a live performance, then I feel sorry for the people who pay to go to her concerts.
        I guess that’s why I see Taylor Swift: Karaoke CD but not Taylor Swift:Unplugged.

      • Sara

        Great point!

      • mikee

        But you have to understand that as real song writers, Dylan, Jagger, and Springsteen write the melody and create the song to fit their range. The style of music is also very different and you don’t get really big jumps from one note, to another..

    • stacy

      WHICH ONE OF THE BEATLES CAN’T SING!?!?! And please don’t ever compare any of those artists let alone THE FREAKING BEATLES to miss swift!

      • Megan

        Exactly. Lol to the comment that The Beatles aren’t great singers. Geez, those are pretty tough standards then.

      • DD

        Whoever compared the BEATLES to that lousy Taylor Swift is a total idiot!!! Nobody comes close to the Beatles!!! Taylor CANNOT sing to save her life. That is a FACT!

    • John Terry

      Your saying Paul McCartney can’t sing??? Or are you just too young and stupid to know that Paul McCartney was in the Beatles?

  • Jacquelyn


  • Meg

    She sucks! Plain and simple. Sorry sweetie, but I’m not sure you’d make it through the first round of American Idol.

    • Ryan

      I agree. For some reason, she’s made it this far…. but if she had to start off by singing live, without any help, there’s no way she would be as big (and acclaimed) as she currently is.
      It’s funny – many of Taylor’s fans make fun of Britney, but at least Britney Spears knows what she is – a perfectly packaged pop performer (not singer). Taylor Swift claims to be an artist, a talented singer, while as many have mentioned, I have yet to see her do a GOOD (even mediocre) live performance.

  • Pete

    Shows you the state of the music industry when lousy singers are lauded with grammys.

    • Marie

      i couldn’t agree with you more

      • Tillie

        Ah, so now it’s time to tear her down. This always happens…the “It” girl gets built up and then everyone tears her down. Everyone did it with Britney (can’t sing), actresses, etc. The girl had an off night, at least she freaking sang live and didn’t lip sync like everyone else does!!

        And you CAN compare her to other artists — Britney can’t sing, Madonna can’t really sing either (or move her face, but that’s another conversation), Bruce sounds like he’s constipated…there are PLENTY of singers that can’t sing. Not saying Taylor is one of them, but don’t everyone jump on the bandwagon. You don’t like her — don’t listen to her

      • stacy

        Tillie! I don’t listen to her! But I kinda had to pay attention when she dominated the Grammys! And it was just plain painful to listen to her duet with Stevie Nicks! Just because there are PLENTY of bad singers out there doesn’t mean we should think it’s ok to give out these awards to untalented people!

      • Grammy Watcher

        Britney and Madonna have a different type of talent. They put on good shows. They dance. They’ve got all kinds of awesome special effects – they make their shows a spectacle, (not my cup of tea, but they are good shows). Their songs are fun, catchy, and easy to dance and/or workout to. Actually, Madonna’s got a nice voice, it just gets overshadowed by other aspects of her performance. And other singers may not be that great, but they stay on pitch. Taylor sings way, way off-key. This is not just one bum note we’re talking about here, it’s the entire performance. That sort of performance would be laughed at at the American Idol auditions. I can actually picture her standing there, getting ripped apart by Simon.

        This girl doesn’t really have a lot going for her. She cannot write songs – these songs, for which she probably actually contributes very little, are annoying and very shallow. If they were dance songs that could be forgiven, but they’re not. She cannot find the right pitch & sings off-key. She is not good-looking at all. Some singers might be horrible but get by on looks. I can’t even say THAT about Taylor Swift.

        I guess she’s just been very well-marketed. Her management team deserves the Grammy awards she won!

      • mayberry

        I’m sick of people who say Madonna “can’t sing”. She CAN sing, maybe doesn’t have the greatest voice ever, but she has a voice decent enough to sing live without torturing people’s ears. And when she was at her creative prime (80s-early 90s), there was no Auto-Tune. The woman has a decent singing voice, more than I could ever say for Swift or Spears. And Madonna puts more energy into her performances than the other two.

    • Liddy

      And the music business wonders why nobody is buying records anymore…

      • me


    • Gale

      The main reason she is winning so many awards is because she is outselling every other artist out there. Fearless has sold 5.4 million copies. Lady Gaga and Beyonce are 2.6 & 2.7 million each. Black Eyed Peas just under 2. Susan Boyle though – 3.4 million in a just a few months, which is huge too.

      There are so many insanely talented artists out there, but people (and not just teenagers although that is where she started) are buying Taylor Swift instead. Although I do give her credit for writing – so many pop artists don’t do that anymore.

      I will say though that the Grammy Awards have a history of skipping the big selling artist for one they deem as having more quality – like Robert Plant and Allison Krause last year, although that record has sold over a million copies. For that reason, I thought Dave Matthews might win, but that wasn’t the case.

      • JT

        Give her credit for writing?? Who the H*ll cares. I mean seriously, she is a singer so all she should have is a good voice. (which she doesn’t) Why should we give any singer credit for writing. That’s just crazy.

    • mari

      she is a lousy singer but not all the grammy awards are for vocal proficiency/talent. if she won the award for best female vocal performance then yes, it would have been a travesty. but i believe beyonce won that one. i think the awards taylor swift won had more to do with the album output or the writing aspect of it. sigh! her handlers should just have kept their mouths closed. people would have moved on from that very disastrous performance. oh well…next time they should remember NOT to let her perform at big award shows.

      • BRI

        Ummm…She DID win an award for best female vocal performance…in the COUNTRY category! wtf? Just b/c she can play a guitar, that automatically makes her the same as Reba, Carrie, Miranda, Martina, etc??! I don’t get it! This specific award was for “Best Country Female Vocal Performance” and because the “Vocal” is in it, doesn’t it seem like the award should go to the person with the best vocals?! Her vocals can’t hold a candle to those of Carrie, Reba, Martina & Miranda! Give me a break!! It’s so painful to sit there and listen to her be compared with some of the greatest voices ever. THE GIRL CAN WRITE A SONG, yeah we get it, BUT SHE CAN’T SING, so they should stop awarding her, because she won’t be around much longer.

  • Wendy

    Her manager is doing her a disservice. Instead of making excuses he should be getting her a vocal coach. She is not hopeless-but she has no breath support-she breathes in the middle of words and runs out of steam to easily. The emotional singer theory is ridiculous. Look at Pink that night-emotionally powerful, on pitch, and upside down for heaven sakes.

    • DD

      Maybe Adam Lambert can give Taylor a few singing lessons when he’s less busy!!!! His vocal talents are incredible!!!

  • Hutchy

    Her vocal performances are “getting better”. Wow, how bad did they USED to be?? Bottom line, she cant sing. She has never been able to sing. She isnt even country, honestly. Shes a pretty girl (not hot, but pretty), who doesnt offend anyone, has Nashville’s marketing power behind her, and writes catchy songs that appeal to high school girls. Thats pretty much it. People like her because she is the anti-Dixie Chicks. Well, SOME people like her for that, others dislike her for the same reason.

  • Stacey

    Give me a break. While I don’t expect Britney Spears to be a great singer. She can put on quite a show and she does have catchy songs. Taylor is someone else entirely. They are trying to sell her as a singer/song writer. She is winning vocal awards for god sake. Something Britney never did. So yeah I expect anyone who is winning Best Female Vocalist whether it’s country or not to be able to sing. And Taylor fails. This statement is only making it worse. Giving her a pass because she’s pretty and is passionate is stupid. And she doesn’t dance, or give a show. She is selling herself on her voice. And being able to sing live matters. Which she fails at.

    • Jess

      thank you – I couldn’t have put it better myself. If they’re going to award Taylor with their songwriting awards, then great, all the more power to her. But if she’s going to put herself out there as a singer and then happily waltz on stage to accept a VOCAL award, then she should at least make sure she can sing.

  • Courtney

    Why does this exec Scott always leave out the fact that songwriter LIZ ROSE writes most of Taylor’s songs. Yea Liz was invited to the grammys just NOT on stage. They don’t want you to know the truth. So dumb America will feel sorry for Taylor this year cuz she sings off key; 2008 joe jonas did her wrong, 2009 kanye, 2010 stevie nix. What next lol.

    • KatieBell

      How many times are you going to post the exact same comment using a different name?

    • Darren

      Courtney, get your facts right – search Youtube for Liz Rose collecting her Grammy with Taylor. Google for the presentation pics and Liz explaining how Taylor writes the songs and she acts as editor by highlighting weaker lines for improvement!!

  • Wendy

    Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young don’t have beautiful voices but they know how to sing a phrase. Rock and pop isn’t always about the beauty of the instrument is but how useful it is.

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