To lipsync or not to lipsync? That is the question.

Hello everyone,

In the world of music there is one touchy subject that creates controversy for some musicians and that is lip syncing.  Let’s begin by defining what exactly lip syncing means, I am sure many of you know the definition, but those of who do not, lip syncing means to move your lips while there is a prerecorded track playing in the background. If it is suspected or found out that a musician has lip synced, it becomes a scandal in the world of music and popular culture. This can negatively impact some musicians because 1) their reputation as an artist may be tarnished 2) the musician may loose his/her fans. In regards to loosing fans, the musicians may not loose all of his/her fans, but majority of people may no longer listen to the artist’s songs.

For a long time I have changed my stance and felt very torn about this topic because I felt at one point that it is okay sometimes to lip sync. For example, musicians who dance on stage may quickly become out of breath, which may affect their singing abilities. Therefore, I thought that if they put 100% into their performances and lip sync at the same time, then this might be a good balance. However, I started to think about performances that I have watched back in the day i.e. Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and they all danced and sang live. So I thought to myself that if they can do it, then other musicians should be able to do it as well.

There are many reasons why musicians decide to lip sync 1) dancing and singing at the same time is tiring, therefore they rely on a prerecorded track, so they can put 100% into their performance 2) they simply lip sync because they do not have good vocal abilities. As I mentioned at the beginning, I did not have a problem with lip syncing, but the more I started to think about it and analyze it, it quickly became a turnoff. My ideology about this topic used to be that if there is a musician who does not have great vocal abilities, lip syncing is somewhat acceptable if the singer delivers a fun and energetic performance. However, recently I reached to a conclusion that I rather see the singer make an effort, rather than take a short cut. If a musician does not have the vocal abilities, then maybe the singer needs to take vocal lessons or reconsider their career choice. As harsh as that may sound, when I attend a concert I want to see the singer put their heart and soul into their performances. If musicians like Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson can dance on stage energetically and sing live, then I am sure other artists can do it as well if they try.

If a musician is gifted with a great voice and they still lip sync, then lip syncing is not acceptable. For instance, at the 2008 VMAs Christina Aguilera made an appearance performing her single “Keeps Getting Better” and I noticed that she was lip syncing. I was surprised because we all know that Christina Aguilera is known for having an incredible voice and she is often compared to Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and many more. It did not make any sense to me why she decided to lip sync during this performance because the choreography did not seem complex, so she could’ve pulled of singing and dancing at the same time. Recently, Cher made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show with her mother to promote the 87 year old’s new album and they performed a duet. Right after this performance there was online criticism that Cher and her mother lip synced, however Cher stated that she had to lip sync because of her mother’s recent battle with pneumonia. Another lip syncing scandal was when Beyonce lip synced at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Beyonce admitted that she lip synced and she explained that she had to lip sync because she did not have enough time to rehearse and she is perfectionist, therefore she did not want to ruin the performance. 

In 1990 Milli Vanilli admitted to lip syncing during their concerts and not singing a single note on their albums. Due to this, their Grammy was revoked.
Christina Aguilera lip syncing during at 2008 VMAs.

It seems that lip syncing has become a common thing in the music industry and most musicians rely on it if it is absolutely necessary. It’s inevitable and at some point every singer will rely on lip syncing at one point in their career. In Cher and Beyonce’s case we can understand why they did it, however other musicians should not rely on lip syncing when they perform. Many people feel very strongly about lip syncing and I asked some of my friends and family what are their thoughts about this subject and here is what they had to say:

“I am mean, I don’t have anything against it, but if singers have the talent to perform then they shouldn’t lip sync. I definitely wouldn’t be a fan if a singer lip synced at a concert”

“It’s terrible, singers shouldn’t be doing it at concerts, people might as well be watching videos, if they’re going to listen to prerecorded tracks”

“I am completely against it, it should be illegal”

As all of you can see most people feel very strongly about this topic, I would have to say that it should be avoided and that I am not a fan, but it doesn’t bother me as much as some people. If their is a legitimate reason and there was no other way, then I would have to say it is acceptable. However, if there is no good reason to lip sync then a singer should never do it. Let’s face it, we pay a ton of money to see a musician perform live, so at least make the show worth watching and worth our money. We want to see the musician perform to the best of their abilities and deliver a fun performance.

Thanks for reading and please let me know what all of you think about this topic and remember people have different opinions, so respect each others opinions.

See you soon!


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