Lip syncing in music has always been a bit of a contentious subject. Yes, it’s generally regarded as a bad thing when a singer isn’t actually, you know, singing… but for the sake of performance, sometimes it’s necessary to let a backing track do the work?


Ashlee Simpson was the first to really get the shaft for lip syncing during her performance on Saturday Night Live, but perhaps that was because it was really such a blatant mistake and unprofessional overall. Then we have the Red Hot Chili Peppers who have straight up admitted that their 2014 Super Bowl performance was pre-recorded, but for good reason: it’s the freaking Super Bowl. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong… that being said, Michael Jackson and dozens of others have pulled it off throughout the years, so who’s to say?

Last night, Selena Gomez performed at the AMAs, or did she? Many fans and critics are lambasting the singer for allegedly lip syncing during her performance of “Wolves” on the awards show, and by the look of things in the two videos below, it definitely seems that way. From the lack of breathiness during her movements, to the inclusion of vocalisations when the mic is nowhere near her mouth, to pulling the mic away while vocals still sound loud and clear, there’s a lot to be said for evidence.

Still, it wasn’t the entire performance that was lip synced – at the very end, that’s definitely her. And I don’t even think that she wasn’t singing, just that the backing track was way too loud and overshadowed whatever small contributions she made during the performance.

But Gomez has also had a rough year battling lupus, so we can’t really blame her for not overexerting herself during the performance. What do you think – should fans let this one slide, or should performers really be held to a higher standard? Let us know in the comments.