Taylor Swift Grammy Controversy – Is There Any Issue At All?

After winning four coveted Grammy awards, you would think that 20 year old country sensation Taylor Swift would be all giddy. Unfortunately, she is instead receiving criticism for her performance with rock legend Stevie Nicks at the awards ceremony held in late January.

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Swift’s performance has been called both “off key” and “pitch challenged”. In a loud environment, it is often difficult for performers to hear correctly, and if they cannot hear their band or what they are singing, it can lead to a less than ideal performance. Anyone who has ever heard a recording of the Beatles trying to play over a screaming audience would understand the problems that live performers sometimes have. Swift’s record company is blaming a defective earpiece.

It’s interesting to note that none of the stories on the Web mention exactly who these critics are that were so put off by Swift’s performance. Do they even exist? Is there really a Grammy Awards controversy at all?

Singer Kelly Clarkson has come to Swift’s defense, pointing out that the Grammy Awards are “not American Idol” and rightly pointing out that the purpose of Swift’s duet with Stevie Nicks was to entertain the audience. It appears from the video of the performance that the singer was effective, so why are the critics complaining?

The music industry is a competitive one, and to hear record company executives tell it, not a particularly profitable one. For every artist that sell millions of albums and have hit singles, a record company may release ten or more albums that fail. This draws more attention to the superstars than may ordinarily be warranted. It’s also possible that the executives who criticized Swift’s performance were simply unhappy because they don’t have an artist as successful as Taylor Swift on her roster.

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It’s also possible that Swift’s own team or record company is the source of the criticism. What would her record company achieve by criticizing their own star? They would keep her in the news for a longer period of time than the typical Grammy Awards news cycle. They also would draw public sympathy towards the star, which could lead to additional album sales.

Until further details come out, readers should take a “controversy” like this with a grain of salt. Sometimes what seems like news is really nothing more than old fashioned record company publicity.

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