Pink schooled every musical artist and ruled out any excuse for lip syncing after her performance at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She hung in the air hanging by a glorified sheet and sang her ballad, “Glitter in the Air” all while wet, spinning and belting out her song.
Most singers use a “back up” track and several have fallen victim to having their secret slip thanks to audio issues. Some are still closet lip sync-ers. So who are the biggest offenders?
Britney Spears – It’s no secret that Britney lip syncs more often than she sings. Any number involving dancing is synced. It’s been reported that she tries to sing her ballads at live concerts, but typically on tour, her vocals sit out for over half the show. She was caught red handed while trying to make her comeback after the back-up track skipped. Spears also suffered some embarrassment in Australia after disgruntled fans reamed her performance and even has started a new law in the country in which performers must disclose any lip syncing on their tickets.
Janet Jackson – She has been lip syncing since her entrance onto the showbiz scene and most of her gigs on “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand” were lip synced. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette even dubbed her “most notorious onstage lip sync-ers.” Janet packs a huge amount of choreography into her shows and perhaps that’s what gets her a pass on the offense.
Ashlee Simpson – No one missed her now infamous “Saturday Night Live” gig. The shamed starlet was caught faking it on the show after vocals from a previously preformed song began playing. Simpson just did a little jig and walked off, leaving her band to carry on without her.
Rihanna – Her most revealing vocal fakery came at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards. She did a horrible job hiding her lip sync and was blasted by fans and critics alike.
Kanye West – Here is a guy who should keep to his strengths behind the scenes in the production department. When it comes to vocals…he needs to sit down. Another SNL snafu outed him as a vocally cheating. Many cried lip sync after his 2008 performance of “Love Lockdown.” In truth his vocals were horrible and it wasn’t a back up track issue. It was a he-can’t-sing issue and his true lack of talent baffled many. The truth behind the matter is that Kayne, like many others, uses an Auto-Tune feature. (It basically ensures signers notes sound perfect when they aren’t.) After this debacle, West learned his lesson and lip synced his way through most his “American Idol” guest spot in March of 2009.
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Jennifer Hudson – It was her first appearance since the tragedy that struck her family when her lip syncing secret was aired out. Producers asked her to pre-record the vocals and sync it. Hudson acquiesced and joined the many others who have vocally cheated. In all fairness, every artist has had to provide a back up track since 1993 thanks to a temper tantrum thrown by Garth Brooks. The country legend threatened to walk out minutes before his performance if his new video wasn’t shown.
Whitney Houston – Another vocal wonder who fell victim to the Super Bowl demands. She lip synced her way through the 1991 game in Tampa.
Faith Hill – Yet another Super Bowl Sync-er. She was also asked to fake the vocals at the 2009 football game.
We can’t judge too much. It really is true that at some point almost every artist has lip synced at some point. Even the Beatles synced their way through some TV appearances. Justin Timberlake slums it occasion and syncs along with Chris Brown (worst case was at an MTV VMA performance). 50 Cent has been busted faking his vocals during the BET Awards in 2007. Let’s not forget one of the pioneers vocal forgery…Milli Vanilli.