The Red Hot Chili Peppers are not the only musicians to have mimed their way through a TV performance.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance alongside Bruno Mars at Sunday’s Superbowl put the practice of ‘miming’ or ‘lip-syncing’ back into the public consciousness. Though it's no secret that from time to time our favourite artists can stretch the meaning of performing 'live', some are able to pull it off a little better than others. So from those who managed to laugh off the mime to others who simple fell flat, here are some of the most memorable incidents of miming in TV history.
Red Hot Chili Peppers performed with Bruno Mars on Sunday at the Superbowl
Nirvana ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Top of the Pops 1991
In his blog post explaining their Superbowl performance, RHCP's bassist Flea referenced an incident in the late 1980s when they were asked to mime on British TV show Top of the Pops. Well, asking bands to mime was common practice for the BBC chart show, but one band who decided to have fun with the concept was Nirvana. The band decided that instead of co-operating they would mock the concept by not even pretending to play their instruments. Instead Dave Grohl had a dance on the drums whilst Kurt Cobain gave an unrecognisable vocal performance, proving miming doesn't always have to lead to embarrassment.
Mariah Carey ‘Touch My Body’ Good Morning America 2008
Promoting her new album 'E=MC2, Mariah appeared on GMA dressed in shocking pink and wearing big sunglasses. Sadly there was just a little bit too much Mariah going on as her backing track seemed to go a little wrong confusing her live vocals. Eventually the diva sings, “stop singing my part now, baby” as she competes with her own backing track.
Ashlee Simpson ‘Autobiography’ Saturday Night Live
The now infamous incident occurred when Simpson was just beginning her career and was meant to be Jessica’s cooler little sister, however this incident would go down in lip-syncing history. Right at the beginning it went awry when the backing track for 'Pieces of Me' was played in instead of 'Autobiography'. The singer was left with nothing else to do but dance a bit and then walk off stage, her band tried to show a little more integrity by actually playing the song for a bit but the damage was done. Simpson would blame the incident on feeling under the weather saying she had 'severe acid reflux disease' and therefore couldn't sing live on the night.
Shakira ‘She-Wolf’ FIFA World Cup Kick Off 2010
It seems the Superbowl isn't the only sporting event where lip syncing is encouraged. When Shakira played the FIFA World Cup kick off concert in 2010 the backing track for 'She Wolf' could be heard before she even came on the stage, leaving viewers with no doubt that the upcoming live performance would not be 100% authentic.
Katy Perry ‘Roar’ NRJ Music Awards 2013
Katy Perry’s performance of ‘Roar’ during a French awards show may be one of the most disastrous lip sync attempts of all time. Whatever was going on something was very off about Katy’s performance, so much so that the host came out on stage and asked her to start again. She did, this time giving a much more ‘real’ sounding vocal performance.
Scotty McCreery ‘The Trouble With Girls.’ Macy’s Thanksgiviing parade 2011
The trouble with miming is you can get caught, as American Idol winner Scotty McCreery learned when he suffered an embarrassing incident in 2011 after his backing track started before he did. There was nothing else the singer could do but begin lip syncing from the next line and hope no one noticed. We did, Scotty.
Beyonce 'Star Spangled Banner' President Obama’s inauguration 2013
After much speculation Beyonce was forced to admit that she lip synced the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration. The singer defended her decision at a press conference by saying,”"It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I'm very proud of my performance.”
Milli Vanilli- Their entire career
Whilst the Red Hot Chili Peppers have come under fire for miming their instruments during one performance, its worth remembering that in the late 1980s there was a band who never, ever sang live even when recording their own records. Milli Vanilli, the brainchild of producer Frank Farian were found out to have never sung on their own records, instead vocals were done by singers Charles Shaw, John Davis and Brad Howell. When the scandal erupted the pair were forced to give back the Grammy award they had won in 1990 for Best New Artist.