Open Mic: No More Lip!

There has always been one common ground individuals could find salvage in and that is music. Music can single-handedly reveal a person’s mood, culture and inner feelings. The one thing I have always treasured, even more than song quality, is energy. I may not be a fan of a certain group, but as long as they can bring excitement to the stage, then they have earned my respect. But the minute I find out an artist is lip-synching, then my respect for the talent comes into check.

Honestly, is there any reasonable excuse to lip-synch? Pfeiffer University student, Phillip Carter thinks so. “It could be due to having no musical talent and depending if the music industry is just projecting their appearance instead of their vocal skills.” When asked about an artist’s voice going out, Carter said the singer is “shit out of luck.”

Ashlee Simpson is a prime example of being unlucky. On the October 23rd edition of Saturday Night Live, Simpson performed her hit “Pieces of Me.” When she came out for her second performance, “Autobiography,” it was spoiled when a pre-recorded track of her voice (for “Pieces of Me”) began playing. Embarrassed, Simpson did a little dance and walked off stage. Originally, she blamed her band. Her drummer, Chris Fox admitted to miscuing the song. A few days later, Simpson said she was pressured into lip-synching because her disease (chronic gastric disorder) was acting up, causing her to lose her voice. Ironically, before this incident, she was interviewed by Lucky Magazine and the topic of lip-synching came up. She told the magazine, “I’m totally against it and offended by it. I’m going to let my real talent show, not just stand there and dance around. Personally, I’d never lip-synch.” I guess there’s a first time for everything.

What I’m still surprised about is the number of excuses coming out. I could understand her voice going out, but wouldn’t that push someone even more to sing? Two years ago, I went to a concert featuring Trust Company and the lead singer, Kevin Palmer yelled out to the crowd, “I have been sick all week, so sorry if my voice sounds like shit.” His voice was just as week as Simpson’s, but he still gave it his all. Another excuse she came up with was blaming her band, but if you’re the star, the band is a reflection of you. Once again, Simpson is at fault. There is only one reason why she’s making up these excuses and Bruce Snyder (Sports Reporter at FOX Charlotte) summed it up best as he said, “She was flat-out busted and embarrassed, so she tried to cover.”

Simpson may be the latest victim, but the most notorious lip-syncers would be the ungifted pop-group, Milli Vanilli. In the late 80’s, this duo started making a presence with songs like “Girl You It’s True” and “Baby Don’t Forget My Number,” which helped to move 30 million singles. By the time their fifth single, “All or Nothing” was climbing the charts, rapper Charles Shaw leaked the lip-synch secret (he was later paid off to keep quiet). They won a Grammy for Best New Artist and shortly after, Time Magazine interviewed the pop-duo, where they compared themselves to icons like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney. After this, Frank Farian (their creator and producer) exposed them as frauds. Milli Vanilli was not only dropped by Arista Records, but became the first act to get stripped of their Grammy. Just to imagine, this all was the result of lip-synching.

Another odd thing in the world of music is how bubblegum groups dance and sing at the same time. The microphone isn’t even normal: it is propped in-front of the mouth, so it’s always focused during movement. So, are they faking it? Pfeiffer student, Dana Vlad believes so. “I think they are lip-synching,” she said. “They would be desperate for breath, the way they’re running around and stuff.” Brandon Rudick, a sandwich artist at Subway, agrees. He said, “I think it’s pretty hard for someone to do a dance routine and sing a song at the same time.”

With fishy business going on in the music industry, what singers can be trusted? Whether it’s Ashlee Simpson, Milli Vanilli or any music artist, no one deserves to pay money to view a false act. Elton John said it best: “Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay to see them should be shot.”

7 thoughts on “Open Mic: No More Lip!”

  1. nice article! I love the content, great idea, good format. just wondering, why didnt you use anything people posted here?

    It was short and sweet, but very well rounded. but dude, you NEED to proof read your stuff a little better. The opening sentance doesnt even make sense.

    other thank grammatical stuff, it was excellent!!

  2. Bear I like the article, however you’re overlooking one fact. Milli Vanilli released there albums through lip synching and lip synched at at concerts and what not.

    Ashlee Simpson however sang her entire album and lip synced at concert.

    Thats two totally different things, however neither take real talent.

    Britney Spears lip synches at every single one of her concerts and preformances and her voice is digitally altered on her CDs, yet she is one of the most popular preformers the world has ever seen and well nobody calls her out on that and crucifies her.

    Truth, Lip Synching anything takes no real talent, but you have atleast give Ashlee Simpson credit for recording an album with her own voice, you seem to ignore that fact completely.

  3. i’m sorry, but if you really think that ashlee simpson is recording with her own voice you have another thing coming. sure, she might use elements of her voice, but she is just as produced as britney spears, she doesn’t have any real talent. she can’t dance nearly as well as britney and she tries way to hard to pull of the the whole “i’m a hot rocker chick” thing, which she can’t because she neither rocks, nor is she a hot chick.

  4. Actually, Ashlee Simpson is pretty hot. But that’s just my opinion.

    None of us can comment and say how they’re voices are before being produced. We’re not there during the recording process, so we don’t know. I hate when people try to pass judgment on stuff they know nothing about. Most every pop star, rock band, whoever, uses some kind of program to enhance their vocals. It’s not uncommon.

  5. I’m not defending Ashlee Simpson but I’m saying you can’t compare her to Milli Vanilli. Its two totally different things.

  6. Yes I think lip synching is lame but comparing Simpson to Milli Vanilli is apples and oranges… They never sung a note on their album and were solely used because of their looks… That is the equivalent of Luther Vandross doing all of the vocals and Ashton Kutcher lipsynching, and taking the credit…

    Ashlee Simpson simply did something that most “Pop” artists do.. Specially when there is any coreography involved..

    However Paula Abdul (back in the day) and Janet Jackson both do their live performances without a vocal track so I think it just shows an overall lack of talent…

    There are a few examples of people who are SOLELY “studio singers” TLC was booed off of stage numerous times before they started lip synching because their voices just dont sound good live (read: little talent), same with ashanti…

    But honestly, I do not blame her for lip synching if her throat was bad on television.. Doing it at a concert is one thing, but on a nationally televised program it would end her career.. I only fault her for not owning up to it up front..

    I saw Wu Tang live shortly after the “36 Chambers” release… Method Man had almost completely lost his voice… he still performed.. However, at the source awards one year, they simply skipped his verse for the same reason.. You do not want potential album buyers to think you sound like crap if you actually want them to buy your album.

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