8 Female Singers Who Had a Horrible Live Performance & You Didn’t Realize
Imagine being a famous female singer — crowds of thousands watching you at every performance, listening to every word & note coming out of your mouth… It can be pretty intimidating for anyone. Nevertheless, powerhouses like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, etc. manage to pull off a kick-a** show this close to ***flawlessly every time. Sure, some stumble (like Adele at the Grammys the past two years), but 95% of the time they’re golden.
But not every famous female singer is a powerhouse. Some get caught lip-syncing, which is usually embarrassing AF for the star. Some can sing but maybe not dance at the same time without getting tripped up. Some, simply, sound decent only after the recording studio works a little magic. It’s incidents like these that you’re about to witness. Right in front of your eyes, you watched at famous females, like Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus, took the stage, but never actually heard what was coming out of their mouths due to their track playing in the background… ’til now.
We’re not saying it’s easy to sing and dance to perfection — though, Beyonce & Lady Gaga prove that it’s totally possible to slay simultaneously — nor are we saying we can do any better than the following talents. We’re just pointing out that things aren’t always what they seem.
1. Katy Perry — “Are we tone deaf?” is right. At the recent 2017 Grammys, the 32-year-old was applauded for the political statement she made while performing her new single, “Chained to the Rhythm” (though, people were not impressed with her red-carpet interview moments prior). In the days following, people halted with the claps, as the live-mic feed from the event leaked onto the Internet, and it’s not exactly clean. If we had to define it in one word, it’d be “shaky,” at best.
Of course, this wasn’t Katy’s first unstable performance. Someone stripped her rendition of “Roar” at the 2013 VMAs, and it’s quite reminiscent of her recent aforementioned stint.
And she’s always been this way, apparently. Listen to her throwback “Hot n Cold” performance on The TODAY Show and you’ll notice.
2. Mariah Carey — The 46-year-old diva will go down as one of the best singers of all time, for sure. But, TBH, her voice isn’t at all what it used to be, as evidenced by her off-key, all-over-the-place 2014 performance of her classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” at Rockefeller Center. Those high notes though… Yikes.
3. Selena Gomez — Most of the 24-year-old beauty’s tunes leave her whisper-singing rather than all-out crooning… but not “Same Old Love” — that chorus is filled with high notes; high notes that Selena can’t hit… at least not on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2015.
4. Taylor Swift — T.Swizzle was highly criticized after her vocals were isolated from her performance of “Shake It Off” at the 2014 VMAs. Even when the 27-year-old wasn’t running around the stage, she still sounded out of breath. Whatever the case, though, she’s still the highest-paid female musician, so joke’s on all the haters.
5. Miley Cyrus — We’re SHOCKED to hear the Hannah Montana alum like this. In most performances, her stripped vocals sound like her recordings. Unfortunately, not in the case of this Bangerz Tour performance of “Can’t Be Tamed.”
6. Kesha — Most of the raw verses of this rendition of the 29-year-old’s “Your Love is My Drug” sound like the original, but that chorus leaves much to be desired.
7. Lana Del Rey — The best part of this Saturday Night Live footage: Daniel Radcliffe‘s introduction of the 31-year-old musician.
8. Britney Spears — Well… the 35-year-old has AH-mazing dance moves.
You know what’s worse than a failed live-mic feed? Racist accusations:
MUSIC VIDEO(S): "Wildest Dreams" (2015) & "Shake It Off" (2014)
T. Swift got herself in hot water not once but twice for having racist music videos. Ouch, not a good look. While in "Shake It Off," Taylor does feature several women of color — she got criticized for objectifying their bodies, in particular during a scene where she crawls underneath their legs as they twerk. Her facial expression of awe and moderate-confusion doesn't help her case, either. But it looked like Taytay didn't learn her lesson, because just one year later she was slammed yet again for having another racist music video. This one was filmed in both California and Africa, but many saw it as glamorizing Colonial Africa (A.K.A. a time where the British took over Africa thereby enslaving and exploiting the native African people). Additionally, the cast of the short vid is mostly while, featuring only two black people in some background shots. While we're sure Tay wasn't trying to be racist, she's gotta be a little bit more careful about the messages she's conveying in her music videos!
Photo: Big Machine Records