Criticism is often a precursor to superstar fame, a reality that Vince Gill probably understands all too well. The 'Threaten Me With Heaven' singer says he thinks Taylor Swift has endured unfair criticism and has gone on the record to defend his fellow country music superstar.

“She’s hitting the big home run – it’s so neat to see," Gill says of his adoration for Swift (quote via Country Music Tattle Tale). "She has a great way of connecting with people, and I love seeing that. I love her to death."

The 20-time Grammy Award winner adds, "She gets beat up a lot, unfairly so. I’m actually a great supporter of hers.”

Swift has tolerated her fair share of media scrutiny in recent months following her very public split with One Direction's Harry Styles. Many have called out the 'I Knew You Were Trouble' singer for questionable dating behavior, but Swift has remained steadfast -- focusing on her skyrocketing career rather than dwelling on any negative criticism.

The country bombshell has also come under fire for her unapologetic forward movement towards a more mainstream sound, but Swift says that any potential backlash doesn't even register on her radar.

"I think that’s kind of a criticism of like 65 percent of the country artists that are out right now," reveals the successful crossover artist. "It’s like the most popular criticism of a country artist — that you’re not country enough."

Elaborating on her pop vs. country stance, Swift says, "Almost every time I put something out, there’s the word ‘too’ put in front of what it is — too pop or too country or too rock," she shares. "I had a song last year called ‘Mean’ — we were lucky enough to win two Grammys with it — and I remember reading a few articles that said it was too bluegrass. So I kinda stopped worrying about it."

'Mean,' a song which verbally reprimands her critical naysayers, actually beat out Gill's  'Threaten Me With Heaven' for Best Country Song last year.

Gill is currently climbing the country charts with 'Don't Rush,' his collaboration with Kelly Clarkson. The track is GIll's first appearance in the Top 40 single since 2006.



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