I want to elaborate on a facebook post I made this morning:
LEAVE BEYONCE ALONE! It's funny to me that some people are so flustered about a "RECORDING ARTIST" using a RECORDING for a performance... If you wanted a fully LIVE sung performance, you'd ask for a singer who does THAT for a living - fully LIVE singing. Not a singer who primarily does recordings, and mega-arena concerts with the help of a backing track (of her own voice) that the artist may or may not be singing along with. Apples and oranges, people. Feel free to discuss..."
Which leads me to the point... Why are so many of us upset by this?
The pop music industry: American Idol, mega-concert tours, recordings, merch... It's based on recorded material and edited image - not live vocal performance. I'm a little torn, to be honest, as I chime-in to point out a subtle hypocrisy... On one hand, I'm an acoustic singer - always 100% live and never 100% perfect - I live for singing to be human and touch my listeners in real-time. On the other hand, I like other kinds of music and other kinds of musicians. Here's where it gets tricky: when people don't understand what they're seeing/hearing and react in a negative way.
I think it's ridiculous that anyone would pay hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to go see a pop star in an arena, somehow thinking all they are going to be hearing is the real-time voice of the artist they worship, a live band, get a lights/dance/multimedia extravaganza, AND NOT KNOW WHAT THEY'RE ACTUALLY SEEING. Ahem..., but you didn't buy an album of a live singer with a live band. You bought something that was produced and processed in a studio through computers. I say again, you're not buying a live singing experience - you're buying an incredible super-processed work of technological art. To be clear, I have immense respect for these artists, who work non-stop on their shows, their publicity, their careers, etc. They entertain the masses, and are important benchmarks of our modern culture.
So, the fact remains, there's a difference between a singer that primarily performs LIVE (unamplified is yet another tier of this kind of singer), and a singer that primarily RECORDS. That doesn't mean the artist can't sing live, but doesn't spend the majority of their life cultivating the technique and the distinctive psychology to support the act of live vocal performance. Different products: apples, and oranges.
When you see a recording artist lip-sync, please don't act all stunned or self-righteous. If what you really want is a live singing experience, ask for it, and get it!
End of rant.
Be good to each other.