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.”