Taylor Swift's Grammy Revenge: Why She Sang 'Mean'

Mon, February 13, 2012 3:54pm EDT by 137 Comments
Taylor Swift Grammys 2012

Not only did Taylor Swift win two Grammy awards last night, she performed her single ‘Mean’ flawlessly. Take that, critics!

When Taylor Swift took the Grammy stage with Stevie Nicks two years ago, she choked and butchered her harmonies, leading critics to question her talent. One music business blogger in particular, Bob Lefsetz, even claimed the then 20-year-old country crooner “ruined” her career with the performance.

“Now, everyone knows that Taylor Swift can’t sing,” he wrote in the scathing critique.

“Taylor’s too young and dumb to understand the mistake she made. And those surrounding her are addicted to cash and are afraid to tell her no. But last night Taylor Swift SHOULD have auto-tuned. To save her career.”

Following that hurtful review, it is widely believed Taylor, now 22, penned her single, “Mean,” which talks about “words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me” and says, “All you are is mean — and a liar and pathetic and alone in life.”

In the song, Taylor also talks about her bully saying “[she] can’t sing” and flip flopping sides (Bob had once praised her talent) — so it’s very fitting she would sing “Mean” at her first Grammy performance since her failed duet.

At first I speculated Tay would sing “Safe & Sound,” her new song with The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games, but was gleefully surprised when “Mean” started playing. Not only is Taylor talented, but she always gets her revenge one way or the other and makes her enemy look stupid.

The business savvy singer performed “Mean” flawlessly, complete with a cool set, choreography and pitch pitch perfect vocals, in addition to winning two awards for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song. Ha!

Bob Lefsetz, I hope you were watching the show at home on your TV and wishing you could take back your words from two years ago. See…all you are is mean.

What did YOU think of Taylor’s performance last night? Did she get her revenge?


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Scott

Posted at 6:21 PM on February 15, 2012  

The song and performence was beautiful. This was Taylor’s stance on all the haters and I agree with her 100%. You can say anything you want while she stands up their at the Grammy’s becasue Taylor has already won.

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Alicia

Posted at 1:28 AM on February 15, 2012  

I really like Taylor’s music. She’s a good singer, not the best out there. But she writes all of her songs…you HAVE to respect that.

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Dacey

Posted at 12:24 AM on February 15, 2012  

Taylor’s little-girl act used to work…

but then she took an arrow in the knee.

(I know, I know, we’re all sick of that joke now…but come on, just picture her Fus Ro Dah-ing her way through the Grammys and tell me you didn’t crack a smile.)

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Scott

Posted at 6:05 PM on February 15, 2012  

Hahah a Skyrim reference on a Taylor Swift article! I honestly can say I never saw that coming lol. I am probably the only one who will get that though…arrow to the knee

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Marilyn

Posted at 8:52 PM on February 14, 2012  

I totally prefer Taylor Swift over Miley Cyrus in every single way possible. Taylor thinks about being a role model to the young girls who buy her music. Childish? She’s more responsible than many people in the music business and many who are way older than her. I doubt whether Katie Perry should be considered mature or is lady Gag-gag mature? Hardly. Last year Stevie Nicks out sang Taylor, of course. Stevie is a seasoned, mature talent. She’s still gorgeous and her voice is too. Stevie and Taylor could never really blend but it was a moment in time and look what it did for Taylor. Good for her.

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Sam

Posted at 7:20 PM on February 14, 2012  

Hey, I mean if I was on stage at the Grammys, I’d rub it in some little punks face too. Na Na Na Boo Boo Stick Your Head In Doo Doo :) Too each his own though right?

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Anna Helvie

Posted at 4:43 PM on February 14, 2012  

I’m a 50-year-old who knew nothing about Taylor Swift before seeing the Grammys. Great voice? No; pleasant enough; but she’s a terrific performer and, based on the song “Mean,” a really talented songwriter. The lyrics are clever, heartfelt, and pertinent: a great anthem for anyone who has been rejected or bullied, and an unusual subject. There are plenty of entertainers with long and productive careers who do not have The Great Big Grand Voice and she might just be one of them.

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Susan

Posted at 4:36 PM on February 14, 2012  

Taylor did a good job and the audience knew it, giving her a standing-O……great job..

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angie

Posted at 3:37 PM on February 14, 2012  

i love Taylor Swift i think she is the best and this song is so inspirational to everyone who has been bullied or gone through tough times which everyone has but the only thing i don’t like is that she always writes about the same thing always about a breakup. her songs are amazing but i wish she would change it up at times which is why i like this song so much. it’s so different then all her other songs.

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mvk

Posted at 2:50 PM on February 14, 2012  

Hey Courtney,look in the mirror. You just called it “everyone is free to say what They want, like it or not”. Who’s childish now? Looks like you are. You’re calling Taylor childish because the sang “mean”. Freedom of speech kiddo, remember. Taylor can say what the heck she wants about anyone and anything. She can sing it, say it in an interview or walk around with a sign. She is free to do what ever she likes. Are you jealous because she makes more money than you, or is prettier than you or even famous maybe? The only one who is childish here is you – Courntey.

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heybert

Posted at 3:48 PM on February 14, 2012  

the only childish person here is you! Courtney was saying let people who don’t like her speak too and say what’s on their minds. you are insulting a girl, courtney, and mean to her? that’s what you learn from taylor? to be mean to others too??Celebrity, money come and go it does not last!!Like someone said the day she’ll be put under earth she won’t bring it with her! and talking about who’s the prettiest, really that’s the only thing you found to attack courtney? How old are u? really,you just show you are more pathetic and stupid than Courtney who only gave her opinion.

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Prudence

Posted at 3:56 PM on February 14, 2012  

the lyrics of this song are childish that’s what courtney was saying and she’s right! Of course everybody is free to say what they want but Taylor is making a fool of herself cause she always revenge on songs like a little spoiled brat girl!

 
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gbtw

Posted at 5:28 PM on February 14, 2012  

sing it, sister… a little spoiled brat.

 
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aarron

Posted at 6:11 PM on February 15, 2012  

The lyrics to “mean” are in no way childish, in fact they perfectly capture the message that she’s trying to send. No child could have written this song and if they could..they havnt and Taylor did. You bickering about Taylor being a spoiled brat while she’s putting herself out their to attacks while trying to entertain you is hypicritacal in on itself.

 
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truthlogic

Posted at 8:42 AM on February 17, 2012  

I see alot of Taylor envy in these comments.

 
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Elfy

Posted at 4:57 AM on February 18, 2012  

who envy an immature 22 years old girl
If she doesn’t grow up her fan base will stay as 16 or under 16!

 
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faith

Posted at 2:28 PM on February 14, 2012  

the coolest part of the whole thing was her playing the banjo. i agree that she gets better all the time!

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Chuck Testa

Posted at 3:20 PM on February 29, 2012  

I bet you thought this was a banjo.

Nope.

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jbh

Posted at 2:26 PM on February 14, 2012  

I thought her performance was excellent. She never ceases to amaze with her talent. She can do it all – write, sing, place instruments…she just gets stronger and stronger as a performer and artist. Great job, Taylor!

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courtney

Posted at 2:10 PM on February 14, 2012  

Come on the song and the performance are childish!!!!!!!
She can’t be taken seriously with that kind of songs, she just prove to critics who give their opinion honestly you can’t say anything negative to her she’ll put it in a song and make her fans hate you just because the little girl is frustrated by what you said!
If that doesn’t show her lack of maturity then what it is??!!
Jump on me Swifties: people fought for Freedom of Speech but on Swifties minds you are not free to say what you want on her, and if you dare do it” you’re jealous, pathetic, loser, liar, hater” come on change your disk!! Everybody is free to say what they want, like it or not!

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Hellogoodfriend

Posted at 5:52 PM on February 15, 2012  

Courtney, as you sit at your computer ranting about how Taylor can’t sing, girlfriend is winning Grammy’s, making millions, buying houses and spending her well deserved money! I bet you can’t say much for your less than mediocre life. I am NOT a “swifty” or a “swiftard”, but I am an admirer of talented musicians. Especially those who write their own music.

PS. Your lack of proper grammar is childish!

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Ada

Posted at 3:26 PM on February 29, 2012  

Okay, how would you even know what kind of lifestyle Courtney leads? And the fact that Taylor Swift IS making millions, buying houses, and winning awards is exactly why this song is immature. Because the song does not reflect her or her lifestyle; it’s complaining about things that no famous artist, or any artist, should let get to them.

 
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Scott

Posted at 6:15 PM on February 15, 2012  

The two Grammy awards with the name “Mean” on them would like to challange your view that this song is childish. I can call any song in the world childish but that doesnt mean it is.

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tania

Posted at 7:10 AM on February 16, 2012  

HELLO GUYS SHE IS IMMATURE
ONLY KIDS AND CHILDISH PEOPLE RESPOND AND REVENGE
TO TELL U MORE ONLY TRUTH HURTS
SHE WAS HURT AND STILL IS SHE BY CRITICS SAYING SHE CANNOT SING AND YOU GUYS TOO PLEASE ACCEPT TRUTH EVEN IF IT IS HARD TO DO IT!

 
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Anonymouse

Posted at 2:06 PM on February 14, 2012  

Perhaps we all can agree that she is a heck of good song writer!

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gbtw

Posted at 5:29 PM on February 14, 2012  

no. absolutely NO. if she writes the music, maybe… i can’t judge. but, as poetry- as a song, it is NOT good. it’s childish. the end.

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Amber

Posted at 1:53 PM on February 14, 2012  

Anyone who has anything mean/negative to say about Taylor Swift is simply jealous, intimidated,ect. I am not an 8 year old girl standing up for my role model or anything like that. I am 28 years old and think that Taylor Swift is one of the best people in the music industry, not only talentwise, but more importantly heart-wise and a great role model who never compromises who she is for anyone! BRAVO BRAVO TAYLOR!

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oh noes

Posted at 3:09 AM on February 15, 2012  

Yet she dated a total douche like John Mayer or whatever. i’m 28 too and i don’t listen to crap music like that both Taylor and John. So much for role model. He airs his dirty laundry about everyone he’s seen so i’m just waiting for this too to hit the fan. Why did you have to be from generation? I thought we all agreed on good music like grunge in the 90′s

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nanlu

Posted at 12:34 PM on February 14, 2012  

Another thing while i think of it you do a great job and i love to read your take on things…..keep them coming

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nanlu

Posted at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2012  

Thought her song was awesome and the performance of it was great………loved it……i thought the show was well done and enjoyed it……seems like the whole group thought so to……anywaaaay..until next year…..

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lexi

Posted at 12:27 PM on February 14, 2012  

taylor is talented at song writing and putting on a show but singing her voice is fair because she sounds okay but she doesn’t have huge range i am just saying her voice is nothing special

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Hellogoodfriend

Posted at 5:54 PM on February 15, 2012  

Say it with me, PUNCTUATION!

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H2theK

Posted at 10:40 AM on February 14, 2012  

Taylor is a good song writer, but her voice is only fair. She would not be where she is if she didn’t have the looks and the lyrics,and had to make it on voice alone. Her live performances have continually gotten better, she was terrible a couple of years ago, so I undertand where Bob’s criticism came from. She has a place in the industry, but is not among the best voices.

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HillCountryMike

Posted at 10:47 AM on February 14, 2012  

H2theK, I agree. She’s gotten better with age, and has earned her fans, but she is no where near the talent of Adele, Jennifer Hudson or Carrie Underwood! She’s more in the Miley Cyrus range. Not hatin, just how I see it!

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gbtw

Posted at 5:34 PM on February 14, 2012  

i actually would’ve put miley’s voice substantially above hers, though i am clearly not a good ear… do you really think they’re on par with each other?

 
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Paige22

Posted at 10:21 AM on February 14, 2012  

It’s called lip-syncing.

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ern678

Posted at 9:51 AM on February 14, 2012  

That was an awsome show. She showed all the people that ever had anything mean to say just how awsome she really is! The song and the dance meshed perfect. She made everyone stand in total awe, and loved every minute of it. She deserved that standing ovation and proved to be a true country girl on that stage. I loved it. You go girl!

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Jacklynd

Posted at 9:18 AM on February 14, 2012  

The audiences loving response will be one of my all time awards show favorite moments.

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Musiclover

Posted at 8:56 AM on February 14, 2012  

Umm…she still can’t sing. Sorry.

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smokinjo

Posted at 9:04 AM on February 14, 2012  

You Kiddin me? Geez I wonder why they give those grammys out? You are the type she sings about in her song that WON the grammy. She Pegged that song. and Pathetic fits you well. hater. lmao

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Jacklynd

Posted at 9:20 AM on February 14, 2012  

“why ya gotta be so mean?”

 
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Falconette

Posted at 3:08 PM on February 14, 2012  

she won a country solo performance and country song grammy. How is that excellent? LOL. She wasnt even nominated for album of the year, record of the year, female performance of the year, pop performance..etc. No. she was nominated for 3 categories. Of course she won country song and solo performance, both for mean, she is popular, but country album? no. she lost. WHY? Her album isnt fully country. Proves another thing, if she had not written mean (which is the ONLY country song on “speak now”), she would not have won a grammy. You swiftards have to realize that. Stop calling people mean. I have respect for swift because she’s a nice girl, but i hate her fans. Everytime i see a swifty’s comment. I laugh and roll my eyes and wish them bad things because they’re MEAN most of the time

 
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Hellogoodfriend

Posted at 5:38 PM on February 15, 2012  

Well said smokinjo

 
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smokinjo

Posted at 8:16 AM on February 14, 2012  

The great thing about Taylor is: you don’t see this girl getting into trouble. She doesn’t come on stage with a bra and panties. She relies on her talent, and she is talented. I loved the Grammy performance. Especially Taylor’s reactions at the end when she got the standing ovation. what a doll. Damn, now this song will be stuck in my head all day. lol

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fanny

Posted at 7:12 AM on February 14, 2012  

That Bob guy was probably watching th grammys because he once again said “still can’t sing”. Why do you say he’s mean? He’s just honest. Accept that not everybody sees talent in that girl and an opinion that differs from her or her fans is not necessarily wrong.

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marina

Posted at 6:07 AM on February 14, 2012  

I think that Taylor ia always glamourously age appropriate in her attire and her lyrics are honest. I hope that she continues to be true to herself. Her song “Mean” was well performed and delicately responded to her critics. I loved it! Stay true to yourself Taylor!

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