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When fans go to a concert venue or event to see their favorite artist sing, chances are, they’d prefer to see them sing live. But in what has become common practice, more and more singers lip sync, and while that’s okay under certain circumstances, these artists were criticized for faking it to the music.


When he was sworn in for the highest office of the land for the second time, President Obama decided to have none other than Beyoncé sing at the inauguration. She gave such a great rendition of the national anthem that her flawless performance left some in tears. But it turns out that the flawless performance was actually a recording. Queen Bey opted to “sing” over a recording because she didn’t have time to properly rehearse with the Marine band, who was backing her up beforehand.

Whitney Houston

In 1991, Whitney Houston gave a rousing performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” while appearing very casual in a white warm-up suit for Super Bowl XXV. But the song was such a hit, it became available to purchase, and Houston donated her proceeds to soldiers and families of the Persian Gulf War.

Jennifer Hudson

In 2009, Jennifer Hudson was chosen to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, but she certainly didn’t sing it live. Rickey Minor, the pregame show producer, insisted that Hudson lip-sync the song. Faith Hill did the same thing for her performance of “America the Beautiful” that year as well.

“That’s the right way to do it,” said Minor. “There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is known for hitting those high falsetto notes. One of the few singers in the business that can really blow, apparently Mimi was in no mood to impress the audience while performing on “X Factor.” Operating just a bit slower than the track playing, Carey’s signature high pitch was heard, but she wasn’t actually hitting that note for real. But like a true veteran, she carried on with the show.

50 Cent

Normally it’s a singer who is accused of lip-syncing, but 50 Cent is no ordinary rapper. Back in 2007, the “In Da Club” rapper put little effort during his BET awards performance. The first clue that Fiddy wasn’t going to give his all in the performance was when he took his jacket off while the track started playing. Halfway through “Amusement Park,” the Queens rapper finally started rapping without the help of the backing track, but the performance was still the definition of awkward.


Shakira’s hips don’t lie, but her lips certainly do at times. In 2010, the Colombian born singer was selected to perform at the FIFA World Cup. She took to the stage and started moving around and gyrating her hips, but for some reason she was a little off her game that day. Shakira was caught lip-synching, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind too much. And neither did the people over at FIFA because she was invited back to sing at the closing ceremony for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Milli Vanilli

Perhaps there’s no artist known more for lip-syncing than Milli Vanilli. Hailing from Frankfurt, Germany, Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus took the world by storm with their debut single “Girl You Know It’s True.” But the world soon found out the truth about the pop duo: They were faking it. Things were suspicious during a live performance for MTV when they ran off the stage after one line in the chorus of the song they were singing kept repeating itself, but once the real Milli Vanilli singers stepped forward to confess the truth, that was it for their careers. The duo was stripped of their Grammy awards, dropped from the label and sued  at least 27 different times.

Britney Spears

Word on the street is that Britney Spears has been lip syncing for years during her performances, but that still didn’t appease those upset when the “Oops, I Did It Again” singer was busted lip-syncing on national television. Simon Cowell made her a judge on his reality singing competition “X Factor,” and Spears took the stage one night for a lackluster performance of “Womanizer,” where it was obvious she was lip-syncing. She also offended her fans in Australia when she brought her “Circus” tour down under and was lip-syncing on stage. Many were so upset that they walked out of her show.

Chris Brown

With all of the dancing and moving around and back flips and cartwheels Chris Brown does on stage during his high-energetic performances, we could forgive him for lip-syncing. During his 2012 Billboard Music Awards performance, Brown left it all on the stage during his song “Turn Up The Music.” But instead of his performance being the talk of the town, some people were up in arms that he was blatantly lip-syncing. Pop singer Pink even took to Twitter to say: “One day if I lip-sync, I hope I do it as well as him.”

Ashlee Simpson

It certainly can’t be easy to establish yourself as an artist when your big sister is one of the biggest stars on the planet. But Ashlee Simpson tried when she stepped out of Jessica’s shadow to launch a singing career. While performing on “SNL,” Simpson apparently wasn’t ready to start because the music to “Pieces of Me” was playing, and though Simpson’s voice on the song was heard, her mouth was shut. Before she could start the embarrassing performance, she blamed the decision to lip-sync on acid reflux, which she said caused her vocal chords to swell up.

Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Cole started her singing career when she won a coveted spot to join the UK group, Girls Aloud back in 2002. With well over a decade of experience under her belt, Cole has been accused of lip-syncing more than a few times. In 2012 during her performance at a charity event, the music started up and Cole began to sing, but her voice was very faint, and that’s because her microphone wasn’t turned on. She was supposed to be lip-syncing to a recording, but whoever was working the boards that day forgot to start the recording up.

Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale was caught lip-syncing her performance at the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we certainly can’t blame her for the decision. The former Disney star, who is best known for her work in the “High School Musical” franchise, was caught lip-syncing through her entire performance of “Last Christmas.” But protocol at the televised event calls for the performers to forego singing live because of too many variables and too many eyes glued to the television screen for mistakes.

Lindsay Lohan

Most people have forgotten that Lindsay Lohan attempted to launch a singing career. Back when she was trying to be known as an artist, Lohan appeared on “Good Morning America” for a performance. Although she looked great and the song sounded great, there was no actual singing being done. Lohan’s lip-synching skills were so bad, she was skipping syllables and had the microphone too far from her at times to be convincing.

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