Social media exploded Tuesday as outraged fans blasted the Grammy winner over allegations that she mouthed along to a pre-recorded version of “The Star Spangled Banner” during the Presidential Inauguration.
“It proves that she is not an authentic artist,” Ave Maria Pospieck-Schnerr of Philadelphia wrote on TODAY’s official Facebook page. “She can’t sing on que [sic] live and sound perfect … proves that she duped the many people watching who thought she was singing live and it proves she is a phony.”
The sudden controversy — which comes just two weeks before a scheduled performance at the Super Bowl — has many concerned fans wondering if the singer will be able to recover from the public relations nightmare, while others are simply asking “what’s the big deal?”
“I guess it all boils down to the fact that lip-synching is, bottom line, a form of fakery,” says Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. “If you watch it, you are supposed to think this person is really singing — and in fact she is simply moving her lips. Lip-synching, for whatever reason, is one of those things that everyone sinks their teeth into — even though everyone knows it occurs in some very respected venues.”
Lip-synching is somewhat of a time honored tradition that dates back to the days of variety television in the 1960s. Almost no one sang live on shows like American Bandstand and Solid Gold. Today, it is still common for acts to “sing” over pre-recorded tracks — especially at large live events where acoustics can be challenging to control.
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