Luciano Pavarotti, 2006
Even opera stars rely on backup tracks sometimes. Conductor Leone Magiera revealed to the New York Times in 2008 that the renowned tenor mouthed the words to a pre-recorded version of “Nessun Dorma” at the Turin Olympics; the cold weather and Pavarotti’s bad health made singing live “too dangerous.” In any case, Mr. Pavarotti, bravo.
50 cent, 2007
Things to do when the wrong track starts playing during your BET Awards performance: Smile and try to make the best of it. Things not to do: Yell “what the f—,” wander aimlessly through the audience, and end the truncated number with a plug for Vitamin Water. G-u-NIT!
Jennifer Hudson, 2009
If Whitney can do it, so can J. Hud. The Oscar winner lip-synched at the Super Bowl that year — as did Faith Hill, who performed “America the Beautiful” before Hudson took the field for the national anthem. Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band also mimed playing their instruments during the game’s halftime show, though Springsteen appears to have performed his vocals live.
Why all the lip-synching? It was done at the request of our old pal Rickey Minor, who didn’t want to take any chances while producing the pregame show: “There’s too many variables to go live,” he told ABC News. “I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”
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