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Ashlee Simpson Denies Lip Syncing on SNL 


10-26-04
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(antiMUSIC) Ashlee Simpson says she didn't lip sync.  The pop singer got more than she bargained for from appearing on "Saturday Night Live" last weekend. What would normally be an appearance to help sell a few copies of her CD has turned into a media event after her embarrassing performance when the wrong "canned" song was played and the audience clearly heard singing but the microphone was nowhere near Simpson's mouth.  She proceeded to perform a "hoedown" like dance before walking off the stage while her band played on. 

At first Simpson blamed the snafu on her band, claiming they played the wrong song.  Hard to get vocals out of bass, guitar and drums.  Then yesterday her father/manager Joe Simpson told New York City radio station Z100 FM that it was his idea for Ashlee to use "backing tracks" because her vocal chords were swollen from acid reflux "[Ashlee] sang in the rehearsal--there's a full rehearsal right before the show, which is with a live audience--and by the end of that time she was so scratchy and her throat was hurting her so bad she started crying," Joe Simpson said. "We called ... her doctor in L.A.; he said, 'Don't let her sing.' I said, 'There's no way I can not let her sing--we've got to sing the show.' 

"So we made the decision to pull up backing tracks to help her push through the song, because otherwise she would've sounded just like a frog--and no one wants to hear a frog on 'Saturday Night Live' unless it's a skit." 

Ashlee made an appearance on NBC's "Today Show" on Tuesday to offer her side of the story and appeared surprised that there has been so much controversy over her performance. During the interview Ashlee blamed the use of "backing tracks" on her acid reflux and said she would have sung over the track but said her drummer pushed the wrong button. 

She dismissed the use of "backing tracks" saying that a lot of stars use them.  "My voice was in great shape" at rehearsal, Simpson said. "I was so ready to go. Saturday night came at 6 o'clock. I have severe acid reflux. It started acting up and I could not speak or talk. But most artists on big shows do that [use a backing track] and I had never done it once."

Ashlee dismissed the charge of lip syncing when Today Show's Katie Couric questioned her about it.  "I was singing with the track. Like on the first song. I was singing with the track but my voice was not strong enough to hold up the song alone," Simpson said. 

When asked what the audience hears when a singer uses a backing track, Simpson responded "You hear both [the singer and the backing track]. The sound bites fade in and out depending on how your voice is. I have never done it before. . . . My drummer, who I love and adore, accidentally pressed the wrong button."

Simpson seemed shocked at the controversy surrounding the mishap, " I am not anorexic. My boob didn't pop out. I am not on drugs. I had a bad performance and I got sick." 

The backlash has hit home for Simpson, "It was definitely upsetting and mortifying. I get comments, like now, I'm like, Milli Vanilli. . . . I am always singing on any show I have ever done. Singing as hard as I can always. This was a situation where I was in trouble, like with my voice." 

During his radio interview, Ashlee's father dismissed the controversy. "If the worst you can find [on Ashlee] is that she got sick and had to use a backing track to help her, well, God bless her."

Preview and purchase music from Ashlee Simpson
 
 

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