Beyonce Lip-Syncs. Adele Doesn’t. Any Questions?

Beyonce Lip-Syncs. Adele Doesn't. Any Questions?

The Beyonce Knowles Doll, by Barbie. Photo: Earldan (CC by 2.0)

“With all respect to our sister Beyonce, Beyonce is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modeling kind of music – music to model a dress.  She’s not a singer, singer, with all respect to her.”

— Carlos Santana, when asked whether Adele deserved to beat Beyonce at the Grammys.

Beyonce tried to deny it.  Spin it away with her well-oiled PR machine.

But the hard truth was blatantly obvious: Beyonce wasn’t really singing at the 2008 Presidential Inauguration.  For the National Anthem, in front of the President of the United States.  In front of millions of people.

Under heavy pressure, Beyonce ultimately came clean.  Yes, she had lip-synched on the biggest stage, for one of the most important events of our generation.

Why?  

Beyonce’s explanation was that she didn’t have enough time to rehearse, and didn’t want to mess it up.  It was too important of an event to botch, and she was in a rush.  Maybe she was working on her fragrance line, or clothing line, or whatever.  She couldn’t make the time to practice, prepare, and execute.

Huh?

Aretha Franklin would never do that.  In fact, she sang the longest National Anthem on record in freezing Detroit.  She wore a woolen hat (and fur coat).

Etta James would never do that.  But somehow, Beyonce overshadowed Etta on her most classic hit, ‘At Last’.  And we’re not even sure if she was singing it!

Adele would never do that.

And that’s the biggest issue here.  Not only would Adele never lip-sync, we’ve seen hard-core proof — numerous times — that Adele is really singing.  In other words, the exact opposite of what happened to Beyonce.  Isolated mic tracks from Adele’s performances have leaked, exposing perfect live performances.  Technical glitches have emerged, proving that Adele is actually singing.  Even in sub-optimal conditions, when everything is on the line.

When Beyonce sings, we wonder: is she really singing?  When Adele sings, we know: yes, she’s really belting it out!

People gave Mariah Carey a free pass after her mic track leaked at Rockefeller Center.  But after her meltdown on New Year’s Eve, we know she’s a phony.  She isn’t putting in the work.  You know: preparing for hours, perfecting the choreography, tuning the repertoire to deal with colder conditions.

Tom Brady plays the game even if it’s 20 below.  Why can’t Beyonce and Mariah — supposedly great singers — sing below 40 degrees?

More importantly: why do we expect the Grammys — a committee of people who have dedicated their lives to music — to vote for Beyonce given that reality?

After all, the Grammy committee, NARAS, stripped Milli Vanilli of their prize after it was revealed that the duo was lip-synching.  One of the guys in the group even killed himself after the public disgrace.  Maybe that situation was more extreme.  But it was also more than twenty-five years ago.  These days, lip-synching is practically de rigueur.

But Beyonce made more of a statement with Lemonade!

Beyonce made an incredible album, a controversial album.  She took a lot of risks, and stepped out of her comfort zone to address serious and complex racial issues in this country.

Lemonade was a serious opus that took guts to create.  This is an artist who sacrificed the adoration of millions of fans (while winning new ones).  She changed as an artist, and progressed.  That’s serious stuff, and should be applauded.

But does that automatically mean that Adele didn’t make a statement, as well?  After all, Adele connected with more people, and the proof is in the numbers.  And after tens of millions of album sales and more than a billion YouTube views, Adele proved that a powerful voice can overcome so much.  Most importantly, poverty and the crippling effects of a weight-obsessed society. Not to mention a sexist music industry and media.

She’s even boldly declared: I don’t care if I’m fat!  I’m a singer, goddammit!

That’s powerful stuff.

Beyonce was unafraid to tackle deep-rooted and complicated issues.  But how many chubby teenagers have been given hope that they can achieve something, even if they don’t weigh 98 pounds with a Kardashian rump?  How many battered self-esteems have been revived, thanks to one singer who refused to conform?

Beyonce tells women: you need to be stunningly beautiful, with all the right curves in all the right places.  Adele says: to hell with all that!

Which message is more powerful?

But Adele won by being a world-class singer, first and foremost.  That’s not to take away anything from Beyonce.  But it is a nod to the music, and the musicians who practice it.

Carlos Santana: Beyonce Is a Model, Adele Is a Singer

70 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Ballremy

    Whoever made this article is a dumbass and needs to be fired all lies and alternative facts in this article

    Reply
    • Avatar
      ted

      how would you know that these are all lies and alternative facts? Do you know something we dont?

      Reply
      • Avatar
        kevin23

        Yes beyonce did lip sync. But i would rather do that then have to start the song all over again. Or mess up at a grammy perfonance. Adele needs re-tries and do overs. Why would they vote for someone like that

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Junior

          There are sooooo many alternative facts in this article. The whole article is just a mess.

          Beyonce didn’t lip sync in the 2008 inauguration because there wasn’t one. There was a 2009 inauguration…but that wasn’t even the one she lipped in either. It was 4 years later in 2013 when the whole backtrack debacle happened. At Last, the Etta James song, Beyonce did in 2009 and there’s no indication that she lipped it.

          Also, there are dozens and dozens of “leaked” mic feeds from Beyonce as well. Even her most recent grammy performance has a released mic feed just the next day. Same as her 2011 VMA performance of Love On Top (also pregnant) and numerous others, all available on YouTube and elsewhere.

          And whilst on the topic of lip syncing. This biased author claimed she didn’t bother or put in the effort to rehearse because she was probably to busy on a perfume line or some bs like that and it was all her fault, when Beyonce made it expressly clear that she simply couldnt rehearse with the band and didnt want to risk messing it up and taking the attention away from the ceremony. It wasn’t her day.

          Plus, Michael Jackson lipped performances. Whitney Houston, I noticed, wasn’t mentioned in this article alongside Aretha and Etta, because she too, infamously lipped the national anthem. Is she fake or a bad artist now too?

          Also, the whole Milli Vanilli section on here is a disrespectful joke, and comparing Beyonce to that is just silly. Milli Vanilli had their grammy taken away because it was revealed that they hadn’t sung any of the vocals on an entire record. That’s not the same as lip syncing along to your own voice on a live performance. Oh, yes, another good point. Even if Beyonce lip syncs now and again, it’s still HER OWN VOICE!

          Lastly, the bit about Adele being overweight is some of the most ridiculous and biases nonsense I’ve ever read. The author should honestly be fired. Whatever Adele said about her weight publicly had ZERO to do with her music or the album 25. Saying Beyonce took risks and showed some real depth and dimension in her music is overshadowed by Adele acknowledging that she’s fat and doesn’t care is honestly…idiotic.
          And the bit at the end where they said “Beyonce tells women: you need to be stunningly beautiful, with all the right curves in all the right places. Adele says: to hell with all that!”…..I don’t even know where to begin deconstructing that. I’m done. Alternative facts all over the place. This article is a disgrace.

          Reply
        • Avatar
          MP

          Because she is authentic, organic, human and with real awesome talent Not made up goddess of nothingness. Sorry no matter how Americans love Beyonce she is not a cultural cross over.. The world will never like her unlike how they do with Adele.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Junior

            Wrong. Beyonce’s appeal is worldwide. Do you think they listen to Adele in countries like Nigeria, Kenya,, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Japan the way they do Beyonce. If you thinK Adele has wider crossover appeal, you’re wrong.

      • Avatar
        dana

        ,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer

        Reply
  2. Avatar
    AllyKat

    Is this article for real? So Adele proclaims proudly “I AM FAT!” and that is somehow braver than a woman celebrating her blackness? White privilege all over this article.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      MP

      Celebrating blackness? The more you celebrate blackness the more you tell the world that you are different.. The more you tell the world you ought to be treated differently and that where lies the problem? Unfortunately Lemonade does not see that.. They see the lemonade but not the taste.. go figure.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    TooFRE$H

    Girl, bye. With the exception of the inauguration, Beyoncé doesn’t lip sync. Where are you getting your alternative facts from?

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Mateja

    It’s one thing to lip-sync for a special occasion to make sure nothing goes wrong and something completely different to lip-sync for practically every performance. Why would any sane person hold Beyonce’s lip-syncing at the inauguration is beyond me.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      The problem is that we don’t know which is which. After admitting to lip-synching the Inauguration in 2008, Beyonce brushed it off, saying lip-synching is a common thing in the music business.

      She said,

      “Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.”

      Which leaves a giant question mark on almost all of her other performances. At least with Adele, we know it’s the real thing.

      Reply
        • Avatar
          Junior

          Dear Chris,

          There’s a mic feed that came out the day after the Grammys. I’ve heard it. Search for it, it should be on Youtube by now. You can hear every detail right down to each breath. The thing about Beyonce is that her vocal technique is always so on point, even without microphones, that she will never not sound like she’s lip syncing. The fact is, Adele is not as good a vocalist, so people thing…oh look, Adele sounded slightly off pitch there, and she got breathy there so that proves she wasn’t lip syncing. With Beyonce, she’s just so well trained that you can’t find infinite flaws in her technique to, in a sense, “prove” that she isn’t lip syncing. But if you compare her live, on stage shows, to more intimate performances, like this one she did in a hospital performing Halo, or when she rehearsed 1+1 in a dressing room, both with no microphones, you can tell that that’s just how well-trained she is as a vocalist. There are many Beyonce mic feeds available. Go find them. The Grammys was 100% live, except for the special sound effects and backing vocals and things like that.

          Hope this helped x

          Reply
      • Avatar
        dana

        ,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer

        Reply
      • Avatar
        fernando

        Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed

        Reply
    • Avatar
      MP

      Lip-synch and the true singer does not go hand in hand. If you are caught lip synching there is no escape. Everyone will think that when Beyonce had a good performance,, doubt always creeps in and people will judge. Adele faced the same problem much like the inauguration.. But she faced the eventualities head on. 2016 Technical difficulty.. SING. 2017 Missed key… Sing repeat sing again and nail it. See that is the difference between Adele and Beyonce. In School A grade is always better than B… Just saying

      Reply
      • Avatar
        fernando

        does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed

        Reply
  5. Avatar
    Godisnumberone

    I don’t get it. Beyoncé comes under criticism for every damn thing she does. Why didn’t they mention the time that Whitney Houston lip-synched during the superbowl? They called that the best rendition of the Star-Spangled banner ever. What if Beyoncé lip syncs? It’s a common practice in the music industry. And the fact that Adele sings live and still messesome up shows that she didn’t put in more effort. At least Beyoncé knows to deliver almost-perfection in every single show she puts on. I have nothing against Adele but the way they keep comparing her to all these industry veterans shows that she might be a tad bit overrated, both her voice and her “humbleness”

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Adele = amazing singer
      Beyoncé = Glittering show, greased up boobs and people bowing to her narcissistic ass

      Reply
      • Avatar
        fernando

        Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed

        Reply
  6. Avatar
    LEWIS

    Wow! Really? Who wrote this?? Beyonce is KNOWN FOR PUTTING ON A GREAT SHOW AND SINGING LIVE!!! I’VE WITNESSED IT!! THE MOST UNEDUCATED ARTICLE I’VE READ. BEYONCE IS A BEAST AND NO ONE CAN DO IT LIKE HER! LEAVE THE BEAUTIFUL BLLAAACKKKKKKK SUCCESSFUL WOMANNNNN ALONE!!!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      ©

      Yes, so uneducated that they use all caps and cannot spell… Sarcasm aside (just in case you miss the point) I’m referring to you.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      ©

      Also, should we leave Brittney alone too? I like that someone so strong needs to be left alone

      Reply
      • Avatar
        cameron

        Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed

        Reply
  7. Avatar
    butch figs

    Maybe Adele should start lip-syncing.. that performance was nothing to be proud of folks…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Are you effing kidding me?! Her tribute blew whatever the hell kind of narcissistic bullshit non-singing shit show she put in out of the water!!! No comparison. Who has the real voice?? ADELE all effing DAY Long!!!

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Tia

    Whoever wrote this is a complete moron. If you did your research and watched videos of Beyoncé singing live then you would know she’s a better singer than Adele. Google her ballads like 1+1 or her prince tribute at the Formation World Tour. This article is filled with so much white privilege and white standards it hurts. This is why Adele spoke out at the Grammys and I’m so proud.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Bullshit! Sorry the race card isn’t going to work for everything folks. Adele blows Beyoncé away!

      Reply
  9. Avatar
    Humanity

    If you are black or a fan of Beyoncé this is a very negative article. If you are fat or a fan of Adele, this is a very positive article. Why does it have to be like that?

    Beyoncé and Adele are both very attractive women in their own way. However, what’s more important, is that both women are very talented in their own way. They are very different in their approach but both are brilliant performers, and both are communicating relevant messages to their respective fans. Interestingly they share many of the same fans and each of their messages resonate was them – because they are different.

    Adele could not lip sync and get away with it because her art is pure vocal magic. Beyoncé say can sing – and do so quite well – but her artistry is equally or more as a performer. It’s kind of difficult to sing perfectly when you put on a show with the dance routines she does so exquisitely. That said, it would be so much less offensive if Beyoncé – and all performers who lip sync – were transparent about doing so. The insult of lip syncing is that it is an insult to fans when the performer tries to have the audience believe they are actually singing. That is why Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve, uh, performance was so comical, and sad simultaneously.

    Don’t make this about race or fat people. Don’t try to compare one against the other. They are each unique. Each is extremely talented and either could have one the Grammy. The irony of it all is that Adele and Beyoncé are huge fans of one another – as they should be.

    For the record I am white, thin and male. Neither Adele’s or Beyonce’s messages resonate with me personally, but I appreciate their beauty and artistry and the audiences they serve

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Ann Merhall

    Adele is a better singer than Beyonce. Beyonce is a performer – think Michael Jackson, Usher et al…not especially known for their singing talents and more known for their stage theatrics. There is a difference. I can only think of one current artist and that is Bruno Mars who has the ability to be both.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      rey

      LOL Adele is no where near the excellent vocalist Beyoncé is. If your ears we’re working during their Grammy performers Beyoncé was entirely on key with proper breath support, while Adele couldn’t even find the key and she had two performances to find it.

      Reply
        • Avatar
          Junior

          Give me a break? Give me an actual break. Beyonce didn’t lip sync at the Grammys. There’s a mic feed. I heard it the day after the show. Being vocally flawless and being able to actually sing on key does not = lip sync. Maybe Adele should’ve lipped the George Michael tribute cuz that was a big moment to have messed up on live TV. Now you see that it ain’t easy, and should stop giving Beyonce shit for doing the NA with a backtrack.

          Reply
      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        Beyoncé barely even sang, she was too busy with her ego as portraying the queen. Adele’s tribute was amazing, no comparison!

        Reply
    • Avatar
      dana

      dumb ass,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed

      Reply
  11. Avatar
    Anonymous

    In your attempt to be provocative, you come across as rather whiny and juvenile. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of either artist, but I recognize both of them as being exceptionally talented in their own way, and they both made very good albums. Why all the hate? Who cares?

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    ArianaGrande

    Ironic this is coming from a site called “Digital Music News” which suggests modernity. Everyone lip syncs. Who cares! Why does that make them any less of a singer or less of an artist?

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Anmleh

    Beyonce didn’t lip sync at the inauguration, she sang to a backing track. Her exact words at the pre-superbowl press conference: ‘…I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track.’

    Just FYI.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      That’s still lip-synching. Singing along with a pre-recorded perfect track just means you’re singing and not just moving your lips.

      Either way, it’s not really singing.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        dana

        dumb ass,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed,

        Reply
  14. Avatar
    XXX

    isn’t the Grammy’s tho, about the recorded music. what does that at all have to do with live performances??

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Clint

    It seems Beyonce fan only argument is that Adele is fat.
    But missed the main point Adele is better singer. Today she is successful because of this, it doesn’t need to dance. Let see how many people would go to Beyonce concert if she only sang.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Junior

      Beyonce doesn’t “have” to dance…she dances because she’s a dancer…and a single…the end. It’s really not that hard to understand. Just because Adele only sings doesn’t mean she’s a better singer. Go compare there vocal analyses on any vocal rating sites. Criticofmusic.com is quite accurate in my experience. Saying Beyonce isn’t a good singer because she also dances is quite a stupid and logically invalid statement to make.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      dana

      dumb ass,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals experts,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed,

      Reply
  16. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Yes, I’ve got a question.

    Will you ever comment on the fact that the Kim K robbery was real and actually happened despite your numerous articles saying it was a hoax?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      She was her childhood idol but she has soooo bypassed her it’s not even funny. Adele’s voice blows Beyoncé away!!!

      Reply
    • Avatar
      dana

      dumb ass,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals experts,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube mic feed,

      Reply
  17. Avatar
    TacheMan

    Wow… all I can say is WHO CARES.. The Grammy’s are over, pop culture is over and I am embarrassed that I read this far and I am sad that I will never get this wasted 10 minutes of my life back. Move on folks, nothing to see here.

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    Dzi

    You’re clearly one of the very angry white men who can not believe a black woman would have the audacity to throw your white supremacy the finger. She lip syncs one time for an event that to many black people an impossible dream – to make sure it was nothing but perfect for that all so important moment in black history and that’s your argument as to why she didn’t deserve a Grammy for an album that had impact on a social level that Adele’s album could never even touch. The fact that you compared the black struggle to fat shaming is even more ridiculous and just stupid. Adele herself acknowledged that Lemonade should have been given album of the year so please stop using her as a narrative to fuel your white superiority complex weak ass argument. And I used to respect you until you wrote this utter BS. Fall back. This is clearly not your lane.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      This is not about race. Every time a black person LOSES you run back crying racist, such bullshit. Adele is the better singer, sorry the race card can’t work for everything whaaah….

      Reply
      • Avatar
        dana

        Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,adele is so overrated,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        dana

        ,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer

        Reply
  19. Avatar
    dana

    Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals expertes,,adele is a trash basic c listed singer,adele is so overrated,for be white

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    demis

    dumb ass,Learn about vocals, adele does not have a third of the vocal abilities of beyonce, and most of the rnb singers.adele is overreted,Beyonce is Star Iisted vocalist by vocals experts,,adele is a trash basic C listed singer,beyonce sing live,and much better than adele ,go for youtube ‘mic feed’,see by experts http://www.criticofmusic.com/p/blog-page.html

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    Kelly

    Beyonce puts on a SHOW. She is an entertainer of Madonna and Michael Jackson levels. She sings while dancing. Adele is a crooner. They have different voices, different styles. They can both sing. No need to pit them against each other. This piece just wanted to attack B, and I’m not even in the Beyhive.

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    Jay

    To be fair, Beyoncé has way more intense choreo than Aretha, Etta, and Adele. People go to Bey for a performance, for a show. If she wants to give them the best she can, she probably doesn’t want to sound out of breath while singing. Most artists who are more known for stage presence lip-sync, after all. I know a lot of them who will, when they can, also sing over the playback (i.e. Britney Spears) – I don’t know if Beyoncé does that, but she puts on an amazing show and that’s a fact.

    Reply
  23. Avatar
    Me

    Who wrote this? Mariah Carey is not a phony. Beyonce legitimately lipsyncs more than Mariah does. Fire yourself, darling!

    Reply
  24. Avatar
    Anonymous

    The dumbest article I’ve ever read. I feel more dumb having read it. Don’t compare the two – apples and oranges. Adele’s voice is better, but she isn’t a performer/entertainer. She’s also not a black girl from the south. And Beyonce isn’t a white girl from the UK. Adele doesn’t do complex choreography. And Beyonce doesn’t stand in one spot for 2 hours and sing. That would be boring.

    The are both awesome talents, in two different fields in my opinion. One a singer, one an entertainer.

    I hope the person that wrote this is still working for some low brow site. I doubt they could work for a major entity, other than Fox News.

    Reply
  25. Avatar
    Stephanie

    There’s so many errors in this article. Do you do this for free or is someone stupid enough to pay you? I thought this career path involved some kind of formal training, but I guess anyone can be a writer these days.

    Reply

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