Queen Bey sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Or did she? Shortly after the pitch-perfect performance, it was confirmed she was lip-synching. Unable to get a soundcheck or rehearse with the orchestra, the self-proclaimed perfectionist explained, “I did not feel comfortable taking a risk.”
While appearing on an Italian entertainment show, Muse wasn’t told they’d be lip-syncing along to their hit single “Uprising” until they were already on set. Apparently, the news was not music to their ears. And so, they decided they’d all swap instruments in protest and/or for fun.
Ashlee Simpson lip-synched when she performed “Autobiography” on Saturday Night Live. In fact, her other song, “Pieces of Me,” started playing again, as did her vocals. She looked lost for a moment, did what she later called “a hoe down” for comic relief, and fled the stage.
Things went horribly wrong during Mariah's Time’s Square New Year’s Eve Performance in 2016. When the wrong song started playing, the iconic singer began mouthing the wrong lyrics. Then she stopped singing completely, began pacing the stage, chatting with the audience about it, and asking fans to finish singing “Emotions” for her.
Johnny Rotten almost gave live TV producers full-blown heart attacks during a vividly dubbed-over performance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Refusing to behave, he sat on the floor of the studio, weaved in and out of the audience, and didn’t try very hard to make things look believable.
In 1991, Whitney stole the show with her incredible rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The only problem? Her mic wasn’t on. Rumors began circulating that the track was pre-recorded a few days prior. That turned out to be true, but Houston wasn’t to blame. In fact, producers decided a live performance would be too risky,.
When the tape jammed while performing their chart-topping hit “Girl You Know it’s True,” it repeated “Girl you know it’s…” over and over and over. It was the skipping tape heard round the world. Something was clearly up, especially when they bolted from the stage. Everyone was confused at first, but the pieces fell into place pretty quickly.