Watch Smarter

How to Tell If a Singer Is Lip-Syncing

It’s all in their movements.

Few things are more gratifying than calling out world-famous pop stars for lip-syncing their shows. But how can you tell? Sometimes it’s obvious (like when Freddie Mercury sings with the mic flung behind his shoulders), but sometimes it’s a little more tricky. Maybe their lip movements are mismatched by just a tiny bit. Maybe the incredible encore sounded questionably close to the studio version.

In this episode of Watch Smarter, Slate’s video series that spots and deconstructs tropes in pop culture, we offer some tips and visual clues to detect whether your favorite singer is lip-syncing in concert. Either way, remember the performance will probably still be spectacular.

For more episodes of Watch Smarter, subscribe to the series on Facebook.

Aisha Harris

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.

Scott McGhee

Scott McGhee is an editor and animator.

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