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10 Singers Who Can't Actually Sing

LOL October 11, 2017 By Hugo

First things first: these 10 artists are great performers. They entertain crowds, undertake gruelling press schedules, sell their music to millions and most of all sacrifice normal friendships and relationships to travel the world and give joy to millions.

That said, they can't actually sing. 

Eva Rinaldivia Wikimedia Commons

Sure, they can hit the odd note or two, and some may even sound like Adele once autotune works its magic, but if you've ever seen these artists live, you'll know what we're on about. Here are 10 singers who can't actually sing. 

1. Lana Del Rey

This beautiful hipster has made a name for herself as a throwback to the iconic stars of yesteryear, while her songwriting skills have spawned countless Tumblr pages quoting Rey's unusual blend of sordid and romantic lyrics. 

Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons

Still, for all her alluring mysticism and louche but studio-friendly music, Rey's live performances rarely live up to the initial hype one would expect for an artist who has sold over 7 million albums. However, she has admitted that her voice isn't strong in previous interviews. 

“I think like, the people who have been listening to my music for a little while know that I’m more of a writer and (than), like, a studio singer," she admitted in one interview. "So I think if you come to the show, you just come to hear the songs on the record that you might like.” 

2. Britney Spears

We know, we know! The woman's had enough criticism to last most people a lifetime, and we should really just leave Britney alone as one famous YouTuber exclaimed, but when it comes to bad singers who have made millions, we have to include this songstress.

Glenn Francis via Wikimedia Commons

Like many stars, Britney was merely in the right place at the right time when her pushy Lousiana stage parents urged her to join Disney's Micky Mouse Club. It also helped that child stars were all the rage back then, and though Spears has some amazing dances moves, her voice was never anything special, something she displayed (or didn't; however you want to look at it) when she mimed all her songs during an episode of James Corden's famed Carpool Karaoke.

3. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez seemingly has it all. She's outrageously pretty.  She can act. Dance. Heck, she's even managed to get serial playboy and RNB superstar The Weeknd to commit, but one thing she shouldn't be recognised for is her voice.

Lunchbox via Wikimedia Commons

Like Spears, Gomez came under harsh criticism once her Carpool Karaoke episode aired, with the American-Mexican actress seemingly incapable of hitting one impressive note. Of course, like many manufactured pop stars, Gomez has the influential power of labels to promote her as someone who can sing, just like they've done with Britney Spears and Hilary Duff, but in our minds; she's a much better actress. 

4. Rhianna

Rhi-Rhi is one cool chick, and to criticise her almost feels like a crime, such is her awe-inspiring confidence and free-spirited outlook on life. However, Jay-Z knew all too well what he was doing when he signed the small town Island girl from Barbados to Def Jam Records in 2003.

Flickr/ tricksware

She's a marketer's dream after all, and Hova probably sensed that there was a gap in the market for a Caribbean female pop star.

Yet her music isn't synonymous with standout vocals, and instead, its appeal lies mostly in its raunchy lyrics and collaborations with rappers like Eminem and Drake.

5. Cassie

The "Me & U" hitmaker never had the strongest vocals, to begin with, but after she showcased her dreadful voice at the BET Awards in 2006, not even the kindest of music executives could look her in the face and tell her she has a good voice.

David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

Inevitably, such a dire performance drew its fair share of critics, so Cassie addressed them via her Myspace page (yes, it was that long ago), and candidly confessed, "I am aware that my live performances have been pretty bad. No excuses, I’m still getting over stage fright. I am very upset with the series of events this week, and I do not appreciate people making me look and sound crazy…” 

6. Taylor Swift

Yes, she's a role model for young girls. Yes, she could pass as a model. Yes, she's a multi-instrumentalist. Yes, she writes all her own songs. Yes, she has more social media followers than anyone else in the world. We get it. She's great.

Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

With that said, such 'greatness' may cloud people's opinion of what she is paid to do most: sing. In fact, Taylor's voice is nothing special, and though it isn't bad, there's a strong case for it being sub-par at best. It's strained, and though that may have something to do with her crossover from country to pop, any vocal coach will tell you that Tay's voice isn't the best. 

7. Louis Tomlinson

Say what you want about the One Direction boys, but there's no denying that they've done extremely well for a band that was formed in less than 10 minutes on a British reality show. They are superstars and are the most successful boy band of all time (unless you count The Beatles as a boy band), but there's one member that can barely hold a note, and that's Louis Tomlinson. 

Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Even Irish member Nial, whose voice isn't much better, can still hold his own against the much stronger voices of Liam Payne and Harry Styles, but Tomlinson can barely even sing, and aside from having the self-confidence to go on a reality show and fool people into thinking he can, you wonder how someone with no talent became a multimillionaire and A-list singer.

8. Adam Levine 

Adam Levine's music as a solo artist has never been as good as it has when signing with Marron 5, a band that launched him to fame after the worldwide success of their debut album Songs About Jane.

By Jazills via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, Levine isn't a bad singer like Tomlinson is, but his range isn't as strong as other prominent singers, and despite training with a vocal coach for over 10 years, his latest offerings as a solo artist fail to suggest any marked improvements.

9. Avril Lavigne

In the early 2000s, pop-rock was all the rage, and the Canadian singer Avril Lavigne was one such singer who successfully rode that wave, with her debut album "Let Go" going on to sell over 16 million copies. Yet fans didn't exactly buy into Lavigne's vocal abilities, and if anything her music involved more shouting than it did singing. But hey, it sounded awesome, so most didn't care until her career started to tank. 

Photography by Glenn Francis Derivative by Keraunoscopia via Wikimedia Commons

Indeed, Avril became more known for her marriage and eventual divorce to Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger in the latter end of the noughties, and after a string of poor live performances and the emergence of more maverick and talented stars like Lady Gaga and Beyonce, her self-titled 2013 album barely shifted 650,000 copies.

10. Carly Rae Jepsen

Remember her? Her breakout track Call Me Maybe went global and had everyone from President Obama to Selena Gomez singing along to the infectious lyrics, while a glowing endorsement from fellow Canadian Justin Bieber also helped its cause. 

However, Jepsen's career hasn't exactly taken off in the way many would have expected following the song's success, and like with many One Hit Wonder artists, Jepsen can't perform live; let alone sing.

Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons

This was showcased when the baby-faced star performed live on the Ellen Show, with pal Justin Bieber watching on like a proud dad. Though even with the Biebs for support, Jepsen's performance was a train wreck, and if you didn't know what the Ellen Show was, you'd have probably thought you were watching a high school talent contest which awards a prize for the whiniest voice.


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