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Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before a game with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills prior to Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991 in Tampa, Florida. The Giants won 20-19. Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before a game with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills prior to Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991 in Tampa, Florida. The Giants won 20-19.

sync or swim

Twelve Absolutely Wonderful Moments in Lip-Synching

Beyoncé was not the first person ever to lip-synch. (If she were, we wouldn’t all know what the term lip-synching meant. Instead, the headlines would read something like, “Beyoncé Mouth Mimes Singing Song.”) No, people have been doing it for decades, as long as we’ve had lips and synchronizing capabilities. And at least she did it with pizzazz (i.e., removing her ear piece, flailing her arms to and fro). We found twelve more examples of glorious lip-synchs.

Whitney
Let’s just get this one out the way. Yes, the most famous rendition of the National Anthem in recent memory was synched. Hell, if you can get a recorded version that sounds like this, we’ll take it.

Julie
It isn’t exactly breaking news that the Sound of Music was lip-synched. It’s just good to remember such things in this post–Les Miserables world. You can’t blame those kids; if Julie Andrews started to pretend to sing in front of you, you know you’d respond in kind.

Fiddy
Do you think it was originally called “lip-singing”? Like someone’s only singing with their lips, so no sound comes out? (It is possible that until recently, your humble correspondent might have thought this.) They probably use synching, so it still makes sense in rap situations such as this. (This video was autoplaying, so you can watch it here.)

Yo-Yo
Okay, fine, there are no lips involved in this clip, but we do learn that besides being the best violinist in the world, Itzhak Perlman is also a champion air-violin player.

Mr. Ed
We aren’t certain, but we’re pretty sure Mr. Ed isn’t really singing in this. Television technology just wasn’t at a point then where it could record live singing like that. Also, he’s a horse.

Michael
You want to complain about MJ lip-synching? Fine, but you can only do so while inventing the freaking moonwalk.

Tupac
Can a hologram technically lip-synch? If so, is it also body-synching?

Freddie
Here’s a lesson to all you future lip-synchers: If you’re going to do it, own it. Dude brings it.

Ashlee
We wonder if A. Simps regrets this. At least people will never forget her jig. It’s still better than whatever happened with Lana Del Rey.

J-Hud
Look, people lip-synch the National Anthem all the time, especially at very involved live events. Jennifer Hudson shows how an Oscar winner does it.


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Britney
This was a great move by Brit. This one bit of self-awareness has afforded her years of lip-synching free passes.

Pavarotti
This performance received a particularly enthusiastic standing ovation at the 2006 Olympics. And it wasn’t revealed until after Pavarotti’s death that he was synching.This is how you do it, people.

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images