Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Ok, Gaga haters. Stick with me because I live in your camp.   Gaga lovers – don’t judge… just yet.

I’m not a Gaga fan and I honestly wasn’t planning to watch Lady Gaga’s performance at the 2017 Superbowl Half Time Show live.  I just happened to walk in as she descended from the heavens and struck a pose.

I rolled my eyes and almost left but the vocal coach in me made me stay for the game.  Not football.  I mean a little game I play while watching live performances where I spot the non-singing ‘singers’ who are paid to not sing.


Let’s face it, many singers are not signed because they can (or can’t….Madonna..shhhhhh) sing.  The lable just fixes it in the mix and runs the ‘fixed’ version over the live vocal on tour so that the ‘singer’ can sing as much, but usually as little as they want.

It’s been done that way longer than most people know.  And now that you’re onto them, producers have gotten better at hiding the lip syning in live shows. But there are still ways to know if you’re really getting a ‘live’ show.

Maybe you’re ok with paying premium ticket fees for a not-really-live show.  That’s ok too.  It’s a bit tougher for the hundreds of genuinely good live singers out there.  Singers who have spent years honing their skills, learning how to keep their pipes in shape on the road and doing the work of developing their own sound.  Singers who are really worth hearing live.

For them, watching a sometimes 100% lip synced concert is like watching a robot take your job and do things not possible for a human.   It’s kind of buzz kill.


Whether you relate or not, it’s handy to have a way to know if you’re getting what you thought you paid for.

Wanna learn how?



How to Spot a Fake Singer


Since I know a few of the tricks commonly used to fake a live show I like to look for the signs of a cover up.  Educated guesses, let’s call them.  If I can spot three or more incidents of any of them, it’s proooooobably not a real live vocal.

Here’s how you can spot a ‘faux’ singer (which appropriately means ‘fake’) next time you see a live show.  Look for ‘faker flags’ like these:

  • The singer is very physical on stage (lots of dancing, running, etc.) but you never hear breathing when you would expect to
  • You don’t hear the singer breathe between phrases of the songs, only when speaking (or at the beginning and/or ending of songs for the sneaky ones)
  • The singers mouth doesn’t line up exactly to the vocal you hear (there’s a reason there’s not a close up shot sometimes)
  • You see 3 backup singers (and those dancers really are just lip syncing so they don’t count) but it sounds like there’s 10.
  • There is any volume change when the singer moves between singing and talking.  This one is harder to detect because live show arrangements are generally produced so this there’s more time to make the switch. But if the singer is talking to the crowd, starts to sing and they’re suddenly louder, you get the bonus point.


Keep in mind sometimes only parts of a song or just certain songs are not 100% live.  This is usually due to a singer recovering from surgery or damage or because the singer can’t dance and sing at the same time without breathing like a creeper on a prank call.

I just call ’em like I see ’em.

So are you saying Lady Gaga did NOT sing LIVE at the SuperBowl?





As if I’m just going to give it away.  Come on.  I just told you how to find out.

So you tell  me!  Click the video above to watch it again.

Look for Faker Flags. 

Tell me what you see in the comments below.

Next time, I’ll tell you exactly what I saw. AND I’ll spill an ‘industry insider tip’ that you can use to sound so good live, your audience may think you’re lip syncing.

(Join the mailing list so you don’t miss it!)

How to Sing O Holy Night

How to Sing O Holy Night

O Holy Night is one of the most difficult holiday songs to sing.  Let’s face it, anything written before the mid 1900’s is much more complex and covers many more notes. There are a couple of quick fixes you can use right now to make this song easier and more fun to sing.  Watch the video to get them now!


Why Singers Stop Looking for Help for Their Voices

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Top 10 Ways to Keep a Good Voice from Going Bad

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Church Singing – NOT for wimps or divas

Church Singing – NOT for wimps or divas

Open auditions for any choir or worship team and you’ll run into them; singers who just aren’t sure they’re good enough to sing from the stage and those who are convinced that they are God’s embodied gift to music in the church. The problem is that both of them think...

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WHY you still don’t sing better (sorry)

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What REALLY happened to Mariah Carey’s voice?

What REALLY happened to Mariah Carey’s voice?

Mariah at Rockefeller Center

Mariah at Rockefeller Center


Anyone who has seen the video of Mariah Carey performing at Rockefeller Center this Christmas can hear that something is up with Mariah’s voice – 5 octave range, impeccable trills, incredible power? None of those hallmarks were present in her Christmas performance of her classic hit ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. In their place was a shouting, forced, painful and inaccurate performance which looked pretty uncomfortable for Mariah, as well as for the audience. So what went wrong?

First of all, let me say that I am a huge Mariah Carey fan, and writing this post saddens me. I grew up listening to her albums, copying her trills and longing for her whistle register. The tone of her voice, and its flexibility, fascinated me and as such she has been my personal vocal idol for over 20 years. I really would rather be writing about how great Mariah’s voice is and how it’s lasted so long, but the truth is, her voice is in trouble.


Let’s start at the beginning…

Mariah was born with a natural mix voice, which means that her voice seamlessly mixes head and chest voice through her whole range without any awkward imbalances. About 2% of people are born with this skill (but the rest of us can learn it, so don’t write yourself off just yet!).

Mariah also received vocal training from an early age from her mother, who was an opera singer. As such, she could naturally sing with power, flexibility and range, and whatever skills she didn’t naturally possess were learned so early that it became second nature to her. Just like kids who grow up bilingual can easily pick up new languages – it’s the same principle.



Mariah was signed to her first record label at the age of 19, and from then until now has consistently put out at least one album every two years, as well as maintaining a heavy schedule of performances, touring and press commitments. That’s a lot for the voice – even a natural mix voice – to handle. The term generally used for this is ‘over-singing’. Basically, taking on more vocal commitments than is healthy for your voice. The eventual result of this vocal overload was that Mariah developed vocal nodules, which are growths on the vocal cords which prevent the cords from closing. This means the singer can no longer hit certain notes in a healthy way, which causes the body to develop coping mechanisms for getting to the notes. In Mariah’s case, this generally means pushing chest voice WAY above its normal register, so that she can get power through that trouble spot. Her other coping mechanism is to flip into the very light, airy voice (which has become one of her trademarks). This means she can hit those notes without proper cord closure, but she sacrifices the power to do it.


Damaging habits

The trouble is, the more she uses those unhealthy coping mechanisms, the more habitual they become, and eventually they override her previous healthy vocal habits. The result is that she loses her naturally good vocal technique (the ability to mix head and chest voice healthily) and she can no longer reliably hit notes. And if she can’t reliably hit the notes, she can’t trill accurately. A Mariah Carey song without trills is not a Mariah Carey song.

When Mariah started having problems (there is a noticeable change in the quality of her voice from 2003 onwards), she didn’t take time off to rest and allow her voice to recuperate – she just kept on singing. She has even boasted about her ability to ‘sing through’ her nodules which can only ever make them worse and may result in serious vocal surgery, or losing her voice entirely in the long run. Singing through vocal damage only results in more damage – like trying to drive a car without any oil.


It’s a coach thing

Unlike other naturally mixing singers whose careers have spanned decades (Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand) Mariah hasn’t sought professional vocal coaching to help her maintain a healthy voice and deal with her heavy vocal schedule.

Without an objective ear, it’s hard for a singer to notice bad habits which creep into their voice, and even harder to know how to fix them. The bottom line is, even natural born singers need coaching. And (here’s the hope for the rest of us) coaching can turn any voice into a natural mixing voice. Singers need ongoing coaching in exactly the same way that athletes do, because good vocal technique depends on the vocal muscles being trained to do what the singer needs them to do, in a healthy, balanced way.

I really hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for Mariah’s voice. If she seeks medical help and vocal coaching from trained professionals we could be hearing her 5-octave range and impeccable trills for many years to come.


If you think you have vocal damage, let us help you get back to full vocal health. Check out our Vocal Repair Clinic. Sessions start from $47.

If you want to reach your vocal potential, learn to mix, trill and reach every note with ease, check out our training options, which start from $45.




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