Doesn’t it feel like Britney Spears is doing a lot better this year? She seems less coached and “handled” by the men in her life, whether it’s her father, her manager, her bodyguards, her publicist, whomever. Whenever I hear about Britney these days, she’s doing stuff on her own, away from the coterie of professional Brit-handlers, and she seems more open and accessible in general, in life and on social media. I’m happy for her. She even feels comfortable enough to basically lie her ass off in an interview. Britney was doing press in Israel ahead of her July 3 concert, and she was asked about all of the lip-syncing that goes into a Britney Spears concert. Her answer was… interesting.
Britney Spears shot down accusations that she lip-syncs at her concerts during an interview with an Israeli television station prior to a July 3rd concert in Tel Aviv.
“A lot of people think that I don’t sing live,” Spears said. “Because I’m dancing so much I do have a little bit of playback, but there’s a mixture of my voice and the playback. It really pisses me off because I am busting my ass out there and singing at the same time and nobody ever really gives me credit for it.”
Accusations that Spears lip-syncs live flared at the beginning of June when video from a Tokyo concert surfaced showing the singer accidentally getting her microphone caught in her hair. While she tried to untangle the mic, her vocals remained audible. But as Spears claimed in her interview, she does use a playback track to keep things seamless during her physically taxing performances. The mix of live vocals and playback has been a staple of her concerts dating back at least to the beginning of her Las Vegas residency in 2014. In a profile about Spears’ Piece of Me show on Medium’s Matter, a member of the pop star’s management team, Adam Leber, said, “To put on the show that she puts on, it’s virtually impossible to sing the entire time and do what she does. She’s singing on every song, basically, when she has the ability to sing. There’s no way you can dance for 90 minutes straight and sing the entire time.”
There is a difference between singing along to playback and just straight-up lip-syncing. Many/most artists use playback during concerts and any live performance, but “it’s just playback” has been widely used an excuse for artists who blatantly lip-sync. Britney Spears is lip syncing. I hate to break it to everyone, but she is. I’m sure she considers it playback. I’m sure she’s “singing” and that her mic works to some limited effect. But most of what concert-goers will hear is the playback/pre-recorded track.
Photos courtesy of WENN.