If you’re good, you shouldn’t have to lip sync

Who doesn’t love a #live concert? I know I do. I crave the excitement of the unknown as a star belts out a well-known song in a fresh and invigorating way. And nothing garners my respect more than bands who keep up their chops throughout the years, staying tight, making better and more intricate music with age. I mean, let’s look at #The Rolling Stones for instance. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both in their 70’s, can put on a show that would rival any young band. And their concerts are live and authentic: Jagger can still give audiences satisfaction while executing moves that would challenge teen-aged cheerleaders.

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With hands as gnarled as old tree branches, Richards makes grown men want to cry with his fantastic guitar and keyboards, and the audience eats it up. Their recent concert at Hyde Park was a testament to real music. Live. Good. Do we care if a couple notes are too short or maybe a little off? No way.

#The Police are another classic rock band that gets more polished with age, and they wouldn’t deign to #lip sync – their music is too complex for that. When The Police performed in Atlanta a few years ago, everyone, including myself, was dumbstruck at the musical prowess of the band. Instead of getting a bit rusty with each passing year, Sting and his mates got exponentially better, and boy did they deliver. Take a moment to compare one of their recent shows to one from the ‘80s and you’ll see what I mean.

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They were good then, but today they’re virtuosos.

Past lip sync catastrophes

So, why—why didn’t #Mariah Carey trust her own voice on #New Year’s Rockin' Eve? Carey has the talent, the history, the hit songs, and the posse to back her up no matter what, so why not just sing the songs live? She blamed everyone but herself, and it's hard to imagine why she would have planned to lip sync in the first place.

For the last couple decades, it seems that #lip syncing, or “moving the lips in synchronization with recorded speech or song" (The Free Dictionary) has become old hat to many stars. Various singers have fallen prey to the lip sync curse: from Milli Vanilli, who never sang a word, and Britney Spears, to Chinese 7-year-old Lin Miaoke, who famously took the place of real singer Yang Peiyi who supposedly wasn’t cute enough to sing “Ode to the Motherland” in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Why some artists fall back on lip syncing

So why would people choose to risk it all by cheating? Of course, if you’ve ever had to speak or perform in front of an audience, you’ll remember your shaking knees and sweaty palms, but chances are that you also remember the thrill of the applause as you showed off your hard work.

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We know that music icons like #Mariah Carey certainly must suffer from performance anxiety; it’s almost impossible to live up to the glory days of #1 hits. But, performers should understand that audiences at live concerts don't require perfection. If music fans wanted to hear Mariah, or #Britney, or Ashlee Simpson exactly as the recordings sounded, they wouldn’t have paid their hard-earned money for an expensive concert ticket.

Would the President lip sync his Inaugural Address? Did #Whitney Houston lip sync the National Anthem? Did the #Cubs decide they didn't feel like playing during the last game of the #World Series? Of course not. They consistently delivered -- especially during crunch time, and that’s why they get the big bucks. #MariahCarey #lipsync #liveconcerts