There’s all kinds of music that people listen to, and plenty of that music has people singing in it. But it seems as though a lot of the celebrities that become cultural icons for their music, can’t actually sing at all. So, here’s a list of singers that are actually lacking in the vocal department.
Fergie isn’t untalented as a singer, but everyone will think back to her terrible rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in 2018. A vocal coach noted that a false vibrato caused her to wobble out of pitch. In addition there was a lot of “nasality” and “tongue tension”.
Ke$ha has used so much autotune in the past that people automatically assumed she was a bad singer. She also has a high-profile poor performance under her belt that further hurt image. She’s since proven that she has more talent than people expected, but her reputation is still stained.
This is the man that brought auto-tune to everyone’s attention with how he changed his voice. In the last few years, he has performed without his autotune, and actually has a pretty good stage presence. However, his natural singing voice is average at best. It’s understandable why he preferred to use autotune, although he likely still has room for improvement.
Mariah Carey was once a superb singer, with a five octave vocal range that people only dream that they could have. However, after 20 years in the music industry, someone’s voice is bound to deteriorate. It was Carey’s Christmas performance at Rockefeller Plaza in 2014 that made everyone realize her once great vocal talents were a thing of the past.
People love Hilary Duff. Who wasn’t a fan of “Lizzie McGuire” while it airing? Like a lot of Disney stars, people expected that she wouldn’t have any trouble transitioning to a musical career. Unfortunately, since her first cover of the Go-Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed”, it’s been shown she may not be meant for singing. She just can’t carry a tune.
It was the front man of Maroon 5 that propelled them to superstardom. They gained so much traction, but after ten years, it’s become obvious that Levine’s voice does not change. He sounds identical in every song he sings. And if you listen to him live, he struggles to hit those higher notes that he often does on his tracks.
Ashlee Simpson just doesn’t have the talent for singing. It’s not something everyone has, but living in their older sister’s shadow (Jessica Simpson), probably didn’t help. She was completely exposed as a fraud too during an episode of Saturday Night Live when she was brought on as the musical guest. Her backup track played the wrong song and she ended up the only performer to ever walk off stage in an episode of SNL. This whole debacle is the reason why musical guests are required to perform their own vocals live.
Janet Jackson has sold countless albums, yet she still isn’t a skilled vocalist. It seems as though she’s just coasting off of her last name. Her songs may be catchy, but even when she performs live she needs a backup track to help her out.
Jennifer Lopez isn’t particularly gifted at anything when it comes to performing, and that especially includes singing. She must have some talent for writing music, but she’s credited as a co-writer most of the time. It seems as though she thinks she’s much better than she actually is. And then she even managed to get a job as a judge on American Idol. Maybe she’s only tone-deaf when it comes to herself.
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s success comes more so from aggressive marketing than actual talent. She sounds better on her tracks, but you can say that about most singers. When forced to perform live, Lana Del Rey struggles to carry a tune.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen managed to catapult her way to stardom by singing the incredibly catchy (and almost annoying) “Call Me Maybe”. However, she has not been able to replicate this success since. Her singing voice is rather whiny, and this fact is especially exasperated when she’s performing live.
Madonna just isn’t a good singer. Even since her debut singles, her voice has mostly been corrected in the post to make it sound better. She’s at least aware of her shortcomings and has taken vocal lessons to help better herself, but her peers aren’t particularly impressed by her.
Avril Lavigne really just showed up at the right place at the right time. She had a unique, punk-pop gimmick no one was getting anywhere else. But over time, it became more apparent that she her shaky vocals and sing-shouting didn’t mean she was particularly gifted. She’s since improved, but she isn’t selling as many albums as she did in her heyday.
Selena Gomez is a fantastic actress, but that doesn’t translate well over to her musical talent. Her album sales are minuscule in comparison to other musical celebrities, so it’s a wonder why people show up to her live performances. It seems as though she’s like Britney Spears; her music career was driven to succeed by some crafty producers.
Rihanna, herself, has admitted that she’s never taken a vocal lesson in her life. Listening to her albums makes it clear that she uses a lot of autotune, and listening to her live performances makes it obvious why. She hasn’t been doing much in the way of music lately, but she has said that she’ll be releasing more of it in the future.
So, Katy Perry isn’t a powerhouse singer. She’s not particularly better than a lot of the musicians out there. Her song are pretty catchy, yes, but plenty of people also find them annoying. So, what makes her so popular? It’s really hard to tell, especially considering that whenever she has to perform live her voice doesn’t sound good.
Pop sensation Taylor Swift may benefit more from autotune and other enhancements than one might think. In her live performances she often sings off-key, and doesn’t have a strategy to get herself back on-key. She just needs to develop her voice more.
Nothing against Britney Spears, she’s had a rather tough life, but that doesn’t make her a good singer. Her singing voice and public persona were essentially crafted by her record label. She can’t even lip sync very well.
Jason Derulo managed to break into the music world using his voice. Now he just needs to learn how to take care of it. According to his fans, it’s been noticed that his singing has become rather breathy. He doesn’t display the same vocal talents anymore that got him into the business to begin with.
It might not really be that fair to put Pitbull on this list. He’s not a singer after all, he’s a rapper. Although, he’s attempted singing in the past before, even in some live performances.
It always seems to be the live performances that give away a singer’s awful voice. Keyshia Cole doesn’t have any trouble hitting the lower notes in a song. But when she tries to bring it up an octave, things can get pretty dicy.
Nicki Minaj actually has impressive skill and talent as a rapper. But if she tries to move into a different tone, things start to break down. Her rapping’s good, her singing, not so much.
Paris Hilton doesn’t have any real talent as a singer. She simply uses applications and studio money to make herself sound better. If her fans were forced to listen to her actual singing voice, they might not be her fans anymore.
Kanye West is another rapper, and he certainly has the talent for that. But one must not forget the time he did a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The feedback was overwhelmingly negative. He turned a classic piece of music into something dreadful.
Considering Chris Brown’s past, it’s a lot easier to make fun of him than some of these other celebrities. The bad part is that he actually had some talent as a singer and performer. Although, this is offset pretty harshly by his sheer laziness when it came to his vocals. When he’s not lip-syncing, he’s singing off-pitch. And when he’s not doing either of those things, he just forgoes the lyrics and dances instead.