1. U Make Me Wanna (1997) - Usher
This post is prettymuch inspired by this video I stumbled upon. Underrated American r&b & pop artist Usher was going to perform one of his earliest hits U Make Me Wanna when there seems to be technical difficulties in the beginning of the performance when he does not have a mic in hand. Entering furious on stage he goes straight to the mic podium of whatever award show this is on to catch up with singing.
Soon enough he is handed a mic and effortlessly recovers live on stage while dancing, with a hint of rage throughout the performance.
2. Roar (2013) - Katy Perry
Former woke pop singer Katy Perry was performing her song Roar on NRJ Music Awards when it seems as though her backtrack as off sync to her actual singing. One of the hosts abruptly halts in the middle of the performance and kindly asks her to redo the performance again. I can't bother to keep up with a Katy performance so I don't know if she routinely lip-syncs but this was an awkward moment. She continues the performance live.
3. Touch My Body (2008) - Mariah Carey
Stop singin' my part now baby...
Since her 2016 New Years Eve performance is still fresh in people's minds, I'll throw it back to 2008 where Mariah performs Touch My Body during her emancipation 2.0 era. The performance begins with overlapping tracks of the first verse of the #1 single and Mariah really begins the songs until the first prechorus. Then at the 3:06 mark, it seems like her background singers was not doing their job in harmonizing? but singing Mariah's parts. Mariah kept her classic composure in the performance. It just don't get any better.
4. Spice Up Your Life (1997) - Spice Girls
It was way more common to lip in the 90's and the Spice Girls were no exception from that, although they did have their share of actual live vocals in some performances.
Around the 2:08 mark during the bridge of SUYL, Mel B was spinning around a little too much where her mic slipped out of her hand and she had to go looking for it. The girls were being their quirky selves during their appearance on the show but were caught extra giddy once Mel B's mishap happened - even cracking a smile from Posh while they sing. This was not as bad as the other performances mentioned, but it is still a fun memory during Spice Mania.
5. Pieces of Me (2004) - Ashlee Simpson
*ladidadida... backtrack comes on... breaks out into a hoedown*
And this was the last of former punk rock princess Ashlee Simpson's music career. SNL is renowned to be live so this must've been truly a nightmare for the Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya) singer.
6. This Christmas cover (1996) - Patti Labelle
WHERE ARE MY BACKGROUND SINGERS? WOO
This recent viral performance of Patti singing the Donny Hathaway classic during the National Tree Lighting is becoming a tradition to make its rounds when the holiday season arrives.
I don't know if you can call it professionalism if you were hired to sing a song and you don't even know the words *ooh baby baby baby... thank you!* and needing assistance with cue cards... but let's just say Ms. Labelle was still thoroughly entertaining with her ad-libs and improv with the audience. Till this day I wonder where the background singers went.
Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6