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  • taylor-swiftA debate has spilled over from the Grammy Awards and is rattling around music circles like a dog with tin cans tied to its tail: Can Taylor Swift really sing?

    Sure, the country phenom won four Grammy awards, including Album of the Year, but that has only fueled concerns, which center on her duet with former Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks.

    Swift sang off key during her performance of “Rhiannon,” one of Fleetwood Mac’s signature hits.

    Critics said she was also uneven during other parts of the show. Given the success Fearless only her second album, such talk might easily be dismissed as grousing.

    But in an age when even top pop singers have been caught lip-syncing and Auto-Tune, a computer program that automatically corrects off key notes, can make a singer out of anybody, the debate forced Swift’s manager to respond.

    In a newspaper article in the Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper, Scott Borchetta, president and chief executive of her label, answered critics. But he seemed to only add fuel to the fire.

    “The facts say she is the undisputed best communicator that we’ve got. When she says something, when she sings something, when she feels something, it affects more people than anybody else,” he wrote. But is communicating singing?

    “Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she’s probably the best emotional singer because everybody else who gets up there and is technically perfect, people don’t seem to want more of it,” He added. Ouch.

    It almost seemed like he was acknowledging that she has trouble singing.

    “If you pick any of those artists that performed” on the Grammys broadcast, “I’m sure you can go online and find something where you go, ‘ew,’ ” he continued. “Maybe in that moment we didn’t have the best night. But in the same breath, maybe we did.”

    In fact, he must of felt the same way, because Borchetta clarified his remarks in a follow-up interview with the Associated Press.

    He said Swift had a technical problem during her duet with Nicks and was unable to hear the complete mix of the song as she performed it.

    “And nobody is arguing with the awards,” he wrote.

    At least he got that right.