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Grammys 2012: Taylor Swift can get 'Mean' too

February 13, 2012 |  8:00 am

Taylor Swift performing at the 2012 Grammys

Noted music-industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz is rumored to have been the subject of Taylor Swift’s single “Mean.” But despite an ostensibly Lefsetz-friendly crowd of music biz veterans at Staples for the 2012 Grammy Awards, Swift seemed to make several thousand allies when she took the writer to task in her lyrics.

Swift, looking especially radiant in a gold gown and straightened hair, directed the lyrics of "Mean" to implicitly rebut Lefsetz's charges that “she can’t sing,” calling the tune’s subject “a liar” and “pathetic.”

Plenty of audience members at Staples clutched their proverbial pearls in recognition that one of their own was in the song's cross-hairs.

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But Swift has a way of elevating sly in-song gossip to something like myth, and the massive Grammy platform only made her riposte feel more charged.

"Mean" won two Grammys for country solo performance and country song (a relatively small haul given her dominant 2010 Grammys), and Swift's wink-nudge reference -- OK, more like a cannon-sized warning shot -- got the crowd to its feet.


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 --August Brown

Taylor Swift, center, performs during the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, in Los Angeles. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press