November 15

Garth Brooks’ Lip Sync Battle: Yay or Nay?

Just six days ago, the 51st annual CMA awards stirred both a commotion and celebration among country music artists and fans. Aside from the event’s big winners and breathtaking performances, there were also a few slip-ups that left the audience in disbelief.

One particularly surprising moment caught on camera that night was Garth Brooks lip-synching during his live performance. You read that right—the reigning entertainer of the year for the Country Music Association awards was caught mouthing lyrics to the tune of Ask Me How I Know. It was not hard to miss and to discover that the entire time, Brooks’ had not been using his actual voice during his performance.

The scene shocked over 14.29 television viewers nationwide.

During Garth Brooks’ backstage press conference after the show, reporters did not bring up the topic of the said lip-synching. Instead, it was the country artist himself who opened up about the subject.

According to the famed country singer, he chose to do lip-synching that night because he was saving up what little was left of his voice. He had been touring non-stop across various states, and he still has seven sold-out shows to perform to in Spokane, Washington. Brooks admitted, “The voice is gone. Trying to save what we’ll be onstage tomorrow night for another seven nights hopefully in Spokane. The CMAs were sweet enough to let me sleep until Wednesday. We did our rehearsals, and we did a game-time call on whether we did sing a track or lip sync it. And I decided to lip sync it because the voice is just not there, and you want to represent country music the best way you can.”

Garth Brooks’ statement and performance drew mixed reactions from his fellow artists. These artists took to social media to express their opinions about a lip-synching CMA Entertainer of the Year on live television.

For Blake Shelton, a fellow Oklahoma native of Brooks, his positive opinion of the artist in question did not change a bit. “Hey @garthbrooks… I still love you. #hero #respect” he tweeted.

Anderson East, on the other hand, took the entire incident quite differently. As he weighed in on the issue, he tweeted,

I keep a lot of my opinions to myself and respect anyone making music but as a person who tries to put on the best and most honest show I can night after night, this truly offends me. I was told country music is three chords and the truth.” East is an American rhythm and blues musician who also happens to be the long-time boyfriend of country superstar, Miranda Lambert. Lambert affirmed her boyfriend’s opinion in the comments section, stating, “High five on this babe. If you can’t sing then don’t. It’s better, to be honest than to pretend.”

All singers will inevitably have their down times where they can’t perform at their 100% best. Clearly, this was what happened to Garth Brooks during the CMAs. But do you think he really should have just taken a rest and opted not to perform knowing the condition of his voice? Or can you still look past the whole lip-synching incident and appreciate the fact that he graced the stage for his fans and tried to deliver as much of a decent performance as he could manage? Which side are you on?


Blake Shelton, CMA Entertainer of the Year, Garth Brooks

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