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

Mon, February 13, 2012 3:54pm EST by 138 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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Japhina

Posted at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2012  

This was not even close to pitch perfect, really? She was pitchy throughout. I wonder how she would say withou auto tune? I guess we will never know!!!

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Japhina

Posted at 12:08 PM on October 24, 2012  

Sorry…sound without auto tune I meant.

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Lili

Posted at 8:47 AM on October 23, 2012  

She can’t sing! Horrible voice. Maybe she should write song only.

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Lonnie

Posted at 2:35 PM on October 1, 2012  

It’s very indicative of how sad most of today’s popular music is when people get excited over the fact that after years of coaching, auto-tuning and endless hype, one of the world’s most biggest earning stars actually manages to sing on key for once.

What an achievement!
What’s next for her? A relationship that last more than a couple of months?
A song NOT about the breakup of yet another relationship?

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ProudSwiftie

Posted at 9:33 PM on May 20, 2012  

I’m so proud of Taylor. You might say that critics have the right to say their opinion, but saying that she’s “dumb” is going over the line. I mean, it’s great that she expresses her feelings through songs, not like the others. Look at some people these days, they do their ‘revenge’ physically and bully others. She was bullied when she was young but she didn’t srike back in a bad manner, instead she wrote songs. She knew that if she takes physical revenge on her bullies, she’ll also be a bully. Instead she wrote songs, and her experience led to her dream coming true.I believe Taylor, and she said that teenagers should turn to music instead of drugs. She’s right.

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Foreverswiftly

Posted at 4:46 AM on May 15, 2012  

Honestly, I don’t think anyone should say stuff like that about her. She’s still young and finding her grounds. Btw, her singing is not that bad. She has a pretty nice voice. She has got a good character and strong and good believes. She is not like some of the other stars who get famous because of the record deal companies who make them famous when they are not talented at all. Taylor worked hard to achieve where she is today. No doubt. She’s the superstar here. You may have disagreements to this and it’s fine but that’s what most fans believe she is. PEOPLE SHE’S THE AWESOME ONE. AND SHE DESERVES ALL RIGHT TO WRITE THAT SONG MEAN TO EXPRESS HER FEELINGS ABOUT THINGS INSTEAD OF KEEPING THEM INSIDE HER HEART FEELING NERVOUS AND ANGRY. GO TAYLOR!!! GO TO TAYLOR NATION!!!

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melissa stantforther

Posted at 4:34 PM on May 2, 2012  

mean and mean and mean and mean. sing it girl.

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alvinmureal

Posted at 8:13 AM on April 26, 2012  

YES! Taylor had all the reason in the world to pen the song MEAN and sing it at the Grammy’s. LOL

Listen to this little girl who sang “MEAN” at a rehearsal for a benefit concert for a 13 year old who committed suicide……Megan Meier’s Story. Megan’s Mother requested the song…..
tmaultmault youtube

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taylor ton

Posted at 1:00 AM on April 9, 2012  

yes! Taylor is not the sama with 2 years ago. Her enemy who say she can’t sing will look stupid and dumb! Just lol’ed imagine taylors enemy. Taylor is too perfect for hers enemy. Also, mean is good song by good songwriter. I can relate to this song. Its a hearts hurtful song when taylor wrote it. Well. I L O V E H E R S O N G A N D H E R P E R F O R M A N C E AND SHE ABSOLUTLY GET HERS REVENGE! Loser gonna hate.

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Krissy

Posted at 7:41 PM on April 3, 2012  

I really wish Taylor Swift could sing.

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joe

Posted at 2:36 AM on April 2, 2012  

Lefsetz is completely in his own right to say what ever he wants about Taylor Swift. What gives her the right to be exonerated from being scrutinised? Yes she is just a singer, but Bob is just a blogger. His opinion may go against the grain of many, but it is an opinion and he has the right to one. Just as Taylor Swift has the right to sing faux country music.

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crawdaddy

Posted at 12:33 PM on March 24, 2012  

Yes she is cute, and funny with little girl personality but lets be objective here for a minute. She writes songs for twelve year old girls and has a very weak voice. Her parents have spent tons of money over the years to make her into the superstar she appears to be. Personally I don’t get it but kudos to her and her handlers.

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Sm

Posted at 12:08 PM on March 3, 2012  

Was not a Country music fan, but I thought this was a spectacular performance by Taylor. i am now a fan.

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CeeGraCe

Posted at 3:27 AM on February 18, 2012  

So true.. I love how Taylor gets her revenge. And the critics better be careful when saying about Taylor again. This girl got REAL power!! TAYLOR SWIFT FOREVER!!!

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Brian

Posted at 10:06 PM on February 17, 2012  

One issue that doesn’t seem to get talked about from the 2010 Grammys is Taylor wears a headphone in her ear so she can hear herself and it didn’t work that night. She wasn’t that bad really but a little off and it was because she couldn’t hear herself. She was close to a lot of loud instruments. I wonder why that story is never talked about? I didn’t even know about it until recently.

As for her performance Sunday night, she was great. I don’t know if Mr. Meanie even cares. I don’t think many people care about him either.

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Japhina

Posted at 11:57 AM on October 24, 2012  

What did performers do back in the day without all the fancy gadgets? They did just fine! She is using that as an excuse for her sorry performances.

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KM

Posted at 11:46 PM on October 24, 2012  

What did performers do back in the day without all the fancy gadgets? … I’ll tell you what they did… They had monitor speakers on stage in front of them so they could hear what they were singing, with the advent of the in-ear monitor those speakers were removed, So, if Taylor swift couldn’t hear herself in 2010 @ the Grammy’s, then she did exceptionally well to sing as good as she did. If you had ever sung onstage you would know this… maybe you should only comment on that which you know about, and maybe you wouldn’t sound as uneducated as you did in your post

 
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variel

Posted at 10:01 PM on February 17, 2012  

This is why I love Taylor Swift. Lol. She stands up for herself. This needs a lot of courage. So proud of you.

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C Smith

Posted at 5:49 PM on February 17, 2012  

I loved it. Love the song/the sentiment, love the way she delivered it at the Grammys. Thought her band/backup were great. And what a gorgeous girl. I like the anti-bullying role model.

Adele? Love her too! Different look and different sound to be sure.

Both of them sing a lot about lost love. It’s not an “either/or”.

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BrandonC

Posted at 5:09 PM on February 17, 2012  

Taylore swift did an excellent job executing this song. She really stood out to me at the grammys more than anyone else not because of just her singing, but her charisma on stage. Taylor seems like such a humble person and plus, she looked really pretty. nough said!

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Piper

Posted at 9:40 AM on February 17, 2012  

Hollywood is a bunch if hypocrites! Taylor Swift can’t sing! She’s more of a talker than a singer! She is sooooooo overrated!

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Brian

Posted at 10:08 PM on February 17, 2012  

Shut up Bob Lefsetz. Nobody cares what you think.

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rachel

Posted at 6:10 PM on February 23, 2012  

hahaha good one

 
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lauren gardner

Posted at 7:29 PM on March 19, 2012  

She’s not Hollywood, she’s Tennessee. Big difference! She’s very real, and down to earth. She’s also self employed.

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kelly

Posted at 3:24 AM on February 17, 2012  

this makes me tear up.i really thought she was way overrated but i think this song and the performance are so cool.i love it.if you dont i think you have a problem with your ears or your heart

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Brian

Posted at 10:10 PM on February 17, 2012  

No way is Taylor overrated. If anything she might be underrated. Reese Witherspoon seems to think so. She thinks we’ve seen nothing yet when it comes to Taylor Swift. I agree. She’s just getting started. Too bad so many people think she’s just for teenage girls. Are we supposed to listen to singers just our sex and age now?

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John

Posted at 10:09 PM on February 16, 2012  

The easiest thing to find on Gods green Earth is someone who will tell you what you can’t do!

Outstanding!

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rachel

Posted at 6:12 PM on February 23, 2012  

Very, very true. She deserved all that applause at the end, brilliant performance!

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robert t

Posted at 9:47 PM on February 16, 2012  

The instant standing ovation says it all!!! That was a perfect performance. A big city crowd standing up for a country singer dressed in old fashioned clothes in a old country style setting who would ever think that would come out so perfect in a high fashion big city audience! I think Taylor Swift was just awesome and the song hits home. Everyone in life has had to deal with someone who is a complete jerk. Taylor should have received another award for such a well done performance.

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To be honest

Posted at 4:36 AM on February 17, 2012  

THE STANDING OVATION IS BECAUSE HOLLYWOOD IS FULL OF HYPOCRITES!!!

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A Sir

Posted at 3:02 PM on February 29, 2012  

Okay, first of all…Taylor Swift does not live in the “old country”…she lives in Nashville, probably in a giant house like any rich/famous person would. Being a country singer does not make her any different from a famous actress, or singer of another genre. She is made to look like an underdog, like she’s just another girl from a farm trying to find her purpose in life…but that’s not the case. She is exactly like this “high fashion big city audience” that you claim knows nothing about “old country style”; this is a ridiculous accusation to make. I’m sure that these big city people are well aware of what is the “old country”, and aware of the correct meaning of it (which you obviously aren’t).
And by the way, she won an award for the performance. I guess you missed that.
[[171108522930776]] Problem?

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k

Posted at 8:36 AM on March 7, 2012  

you’re an angry little elf

 
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SteveB

Posted at 8:54 PM on February 16, 2012  

Awesome how critics can motivate someone to a whole new level. Even more impressed how such a young women can take this so constructively, to not only sing at the Grammy’s, but win one with this song. Well done Taylor.

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Lee Kravitz

Posted at 2:49 PM on February 16, 2012  

Revenge isn’t the word for it. Taylor was spectacular. If she has critics, they must be fools. She really just made me and my whole family just smile!! She turned me into a fan for life. Truly beautiful voice and endless talent and she is just beginning. WOW

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Japhina

Posted at 12:02 PM on October 24, 2012  

You want to hear a real singer don’t listen to Taylor Swift. Really? Wow, people are ignorant. Her songs are so easy to sing. They aren’t vocally challenging at all, and there is no power behind her voice. I feel sorry for you and your family if you think she has endless talent! WOW! And yes, I speak from experience and am a trained professional singer, who would battle with Taylor anyday and win, hands down. I think that millions could do the same!

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A.D.E.L.E

Posted at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2012  

OH MY GOD SOMEONE DARE SAY TAYLOR AND ADELE MADE THE SHOW!!!!
ARE U KIDDING ME???
ADELE OWNED,STOLE, BREAKS EVERY FEMALE ARTISTS PRESENT, SHE MADE THE SHOW AND ONLY HER!!!

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Lee Kravitz

Posted at 2:57 PM on February 16, 2012  

Adele was outstanding but don’t you even think of taking away anything from Taylor Swift. Maybe you do not like her music as much but most of the planet does. She will make hundreds of millions while Adele goes on sabatical for five years. If Adele didn’t have so much heartbreak in her life, she wouldn’t have any songs to sing. Great voices both of them but putting down a tremendous talent is truly foolish and yes MEAN

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A.D.E.L.E

Posted at 4:39 AM on February 17, 2012  

LOL LOL LOL LOL If Taylor swift didn’t date so much guys she won’t singing her songs cause she sings mostly about boys and break ups poor thing!!!!! ADELE IS A VOICE, A TALENT and Taylor swift will never never reach to her level her entire life!!

 
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k

Posted at 8:38 AM on March 7, 2012  

“so much guys” really?

 
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truthlogic

Posted at 8:38 AM on February 17, 2012  

Wow,you’re not closed minded just a little are you!Taylor gained much respect from me.Even if she is vocally not the strongest,she writes,she plays an instrument,and she is moral…way to go Taylor!!!

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Wen

Posted at 8:01 AM on February 23, 2012  

Adele isn’t the only good female artist! Nobody ever said that Taylor is better than Adele, we only said that you may not like Taylor’s songs but a lot of other people do. You’re just determined about screaming out the opinion that Adele owns every other female artist.

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AnnoyingVoice

Posted at 1:13 AM on February 26, 2012  

adele has one annoying voice, wtf are you smoking?

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Charlie

Posted at 11:56 PM on February 15, 2012  

Aren’t her 15 minutes up yet?
I am so tired of her act.
Please, country/pop music find a new “It Girl” soon!

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GTar

Posted at 1:11 AM on February 26, 2012  

STFU roach, crawl back to your corner.

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