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It is straight up wrong for a former American Idol judge to lip-sync. We’re looking at you, Mariah Carey.
At the risk of infuriating the many “lambs” out there, it needs to be said because Carey, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s top vocal performers, was recently accused of doing just that at Sunday’s BET Awards.
Singing her latest single, “#Beautiful,” with the help of rapper Young Jeezy and R&B star Miguel (the latter also seemed to be aided by a track), the veteran diva had an unfortunate moment when her microphone, voice and mouth looked and sounded completely out of sync. Furthermore, the performance sounded strangely similar to the studio version of the song.
Yes, we live in an age where technology makes it easy — even tempting — to sweeten a television appearance, but when that performer’s last job was critiquing the raw talent of hopeful future stars, to not display her own is, well, inexcusable.
Of course, Mariah Carey is not alone. Many artists, including Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Beyonce, have been caught lip-syncing in the past. And even in concert, audiences have become accustomed to pop stars singing along to tracks, opting instead to concentrate on choreography and elaborate props.
There is a major difference between Mrs. Carter and Ms. Carey, however. When Bey was confronted about her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during this year’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C., she admitted to lip-syncing. “Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk,” she said in a statement days later. “It was about the President and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.”
To prove her point, she belted out the same anthem a capella at a pre-Super Bowl press conference and sounded stellar. “Any questions?” Beyonce then asked cheekily.
It all comes down to the circumstance. Sometimes singing to track is simply a must, but an awards show that celebrates natural vocal skills is not one of those situations. So next time, Mariah, just say no to the temptation. We don’t need you to sound perfect, but we do want you to be real.
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