Just after this year’s Super Bowl Halftime performance ended the internet exploded with the theory that the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s instruments were not plugged in while they performed with Bruno Mars.
The world cried foul and Chili Peppers bassist Flea responded, confirming that the band mimed their instruments but frontman Anthony Kiedis did in fact sing live. Flea also stated that both were done at the request of the NFL.
The odd part of the controversy is that the debate continued with no one shocked that Bruno Mars’s band also mimed their performance but just plugged in to make it look more real. The discrepancy may just be because of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ outlandish performance or it could be that there is long history of pop leaning artists faking it on stage.
Here are a few of the greatest (or worst) stage fakes:
The grandest of all fakes has to go to Milli Vanilli. Nothing about the duo of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan was true. They went so far as to lip synced to OTHER PEOPLE’S voices – kind of history’s most successful karaoke show.
Britney Spears took a ton of criticism when her “comeback” performance at the 2007 MTV VMA was obviously prerecorded. Britney responded that she does lip sync at times when her dancing requires it. She lip synced all the way to the bank since then.
Ashlee Simpson famously had the wrong track start playing during a Saturday Night Live performance. She hemmed and blamed her band and illness but eventually came clean.
Jennifer Hudson gave an obviously prerecorded “National Anthem” at the 2009 Super Bowl. She confirmed it and everyone just seemed to move on.
Beyoncé was criticized for miming along to a prerecorded “National Anthem” at President Obama’s second inauguration and again before last year’s Super Bowl. Her response – she belted out flawlessly at a press conference.
MJ took the stage to perform “Billie Jean” for the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever in 1983 and made no attempt to sync his lip sync. Thankful for Jackson his dancing stole the show.