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Label Head Defends Taylor Swift; Kelly Clarkson Angrily Responds

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One thing I can always be certain of whenever I write about Taylor Swift (and I write about her a lot!): I'm going to get comments discussing whether or not the girl has talent/can really sing/deserves her fame. Followed, naturally, by comments fiercely defending her honor.

I suppose you guys all know I'm in the pro-Taylor camp. For the record, I recognize she's had some off-key performances and isn't the most proficient vocalist out there. I also think she's got an unflappable charm and an inexplicable validity to her voice and delivery, which I believe mostly makes up for her technical shortcomings.

I'm certainly not alone in this opinion. Taylor Swift is not hurting for fans or positive recognition, to put it mildly. And, being a flawed vocalist certainly hasn't hurt many, many, many artists out there; indeed music history is filled with examples of lousy singers that have become quite legendary.

Given this, I can see where it would be fairly easy for her and her circle to shake off criticism. Even critical reviews as stinging as those from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, which cited her as "painfully out of tune,""caterwauling," and "can barely sing" (respectively), in regards to her Grammy performance last Sunday.

One would think it would be easy enough to ignore these, after winning almost every significant musical award possible in the past 12 months--including Album of the Year at the Grammys. However, the head of her record label felt the need to respond to these reviews.

In an interview originally run by the Tennessean, Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta blasted the naysayers, saying criticism of Taylor is "just over the top."

"This is not American Idol," he stated. "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."

As with anything Taylor-related--and, because, let's face it, these are fighting words--Borchetta's comments were picked up by outlets cross-country and are now widespread news.

And, as with widespread news--everyone hears it.

Including a very famous artist who definitely took Borchetta's words to heart.

On her personal blog, Kelly Clarkson addressed this letter to 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.

She then hit Twitter and tweeted the following: Sorry my blog isn't more 'happy' but I can't stand ignorance or disrespect.

All I can say is, whew. I'm stepping back and waiting to see what happens next.

I'll leave it up to you guys as usual. Was Borchetta out of line for defending Taylor? Let me know what you think.

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