Taylor Swift’s label head jumped to her defense today, telling the press Swift’s Grammy-night performance may not have been note-perfect, but it captured why the 20-year-old is the “voice of a generation.” Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta went on to say, “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.”
His comments about Idol riled Season One champion Kelly Clarkson, who immediately responded in an open letter on her I Am Kelly blog. “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,” Clarkson wrote. She signed her post “One of those contestants from American Idol who only made it because of her high notes.” Clarkson has two Grammy wins under her belt, and songwriting credits on some of her biggest hits, including “Because of You” and “Already Gone.”
Writing that she too has experienced off-nights in the post titled “Scott Borchetta” (just in case there was any confusion who it was addressed to), Clarkson added, “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.” Swift — who recently toured with an American Idol contestant, Kellie Pickler — won four Grammys at Sunday night’s ceremony, but news of her victories has since been overshadowed by criticism that she sang off-key during her three-song performance, which featured cameos with Stevie Nicks and Butch Walker.