Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Why are auto-tuned singers (like Jay Sean, Miley Cyrus, and others) so popular? What happend to real singers?

Asked by Kraigmo (7816points) July 11th, 2010

I was looking at the Yahoo Top 10 Music Videos, and I watched a few seconds of all of them, and more than half of the Top 10 current singers used an obvious auto-tune program that warps (but tunes) the singers’ voices.

Why is this shit so popular now? And is this why these singers need to put on a visual “show” at their concerts?

And why are people that cannot sing getting fame for singing? The fact they need auto-tune is proof they cannot sing

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15 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Kraigmo, it’s an odd phenomenon. They’ve even added a category on Jeopardy called Alex Meets Autotune.

I think it’s probably used more by performers whose careers have been manufactured than those who actually have talent. I’ve noticed that Miley Cyrus is about follow the career path of Britney Spears and forget that she makes her money off of elementary school children.

I don’t think you see it quite so much with alternative music, but then again, you don’t get the same big production stagings.

gemiwing's avatar

I think they’re so popular because they’re not selling music, they’re selling a lifestyle/brand. When Miley fans think of her, music is only one part of what they see. There is also her acting/clothing/perfume etc. It’s a whole package and that package demands perfection.

Seek's avatar

Because pretty people sell shit that stupid teenagers and 20-somethings want to buy. Miley Cyrus even managed to drop the bar down to stupid ‘tweens.

Don’t worry – there’s plenty of real music out there. You just have to turn off the radio to find it.

Austinlad's avatar

I could answer like my parents did when I was a kid and say they just don’t make ‘em like they used to—and that’s true to an extent—but I think there are still plenty of good singers out there; they don’t all have Disney-sized marketing machines behind them, so you have to look harder to find them.

SmashTheState's avatar

How many fat, ugly people become famous as musicians? The very (very) few uggos who make it require spectacular levels of talent, and even when they make it, it’s never as large as an attractive person would. They’re also regarded as something of a talking-dog curiosity. The fact is that the Beautiful Shiny People have taken over our society. They now dictate fashion and culture to everyone else. Despite the fact that the Beautiful Shiny People are generally shallow and stupid, the majority of people are motivated primarily by the urgings and tinglings of their crotch so they are helpless before the tyranny of beauty.

I have seen literally dozens of studies which confirm, again and again, that the Beautiful Shiny People get a free ride through life. They make more money, they are far less likely to be the victims of crime, they get preferential treatment from police, judges, politicians, merchants, clerks, bureaucrats, and practically everyone else. As an asexual who doesn’t give a flying fuck at a tumbling bagel about sexual attractiveness it is an utterly infuriating phenomenon for me.

chyna's avatar

How many fat, ugly people become famous as musicians? Meatloaf, Christopher Cross, Carney Wilson, just to name a few, but I do agree with you.

DeanV's avatar

Well, musicians have been putting on a visual show for years, keep that in mind. The Who, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin (albeit accidentally, perhaps), etc.

I happen to think auto-tune is actually kind of a cool effect when used sparingly like in Deadmau5’s Ghosts n Stuff or other types of electronic music that I’ve heard. There’s plenty of stuff that used auto-tune well, you just can’t find it on the radio.

tranquilsea's avatar

There are plenty of men: Getty Lee, Tom Petty but it is hard trying to come up with an unattractive female singer who’s not Susan Boyle.

I hate auto tune which is why I tend to lean towards indi music.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i fuckin love that song dverhey

john65pennington's avatar

The real singers have all left the stage, along with the real song writers.

I miss both of them. todays “music” is not music…...its just noise.

eyeDani's avatar

They are because the adolesent mind likes the digital noise. All these people, since analog was removed, have been into digital. I personally don’t like it as much as the good ‘ol natural voices, plus these day singers have no talent so it’s kinda easier for them to fake us out. hehe

Disc2021's avatar

Music, like all forms of art, changes with time. That’s exactly why music today doesn’t sound like music from yesterday – it’s ever changing and it’s going to keep changing and readjusting to reflect the culture. Hate it or love it.

I get your argument but I dont see the merit – I think a lot of modern music is good just the same as I think a lot of classical music is good. You dont have to like modern “auto-tunes” – simply, you prefer music without. That’s just pop culture and you’re certainly welcome to take it or leave it.

I think singing is really objective – an amazing singer to someone might be a terrible singer to someone else. Just because a particular artist doesn’t sing the way you’d like them to, doesn’t mean that the thousands and even millions of fans are in agreement with you.

The only place I come in somewhat agreement with you is on the fact that “video killed the radio star” – music nowadays is usually associated with an image and people who want to emulate that image flock to the corresponding music as some sort of a social statement about themselves. I’m not a “genre loyal” music fan – I literately love music of all genre’s and even if I may not like or be a fan of much country music, I at least appreciate the fact that it exists. Would Lady Gaga really be Lady Gaga if you took away her outrageous, jaw-dropping get-up? Probably not.

Blueroses's avatar

We were just talking about this. I think it’s easier for a label to package and sell the career of some pretty person without native talent. Somebody completely reliant on post-production tweaks for their sound is unlikely to cause problems for the star maker machinery.

Strauss's avatar

@Disc2021, I agree with you that music changes with the times. This is as true today as it was with Elvis, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and many others who stretched boundaries.

As others have stated above, I think the “autotune” phenomenon is overused as a post-production packaging tool that can make the “star” sound like (s)he is really singing in tune, whether or not the talent is there. The auto-tune is used far too often, IMHO, to compensate for lack of intonation, which should be a primary tool in any singers toolbox. I have heard some instances, and can imagine others, where the technology is used artistically for effect, but I don’t necessarily call it artistry when it is used to compensate for lack of talent.

OpryLeigh's avatar

The way I see it, people have been complaining about things ruining “real music” for years and years. Autotune is just the newest annoyance for people that are passionate about the music that they consider to be “real”. I, myself, don’t appreciate too much autotune but I also think if used properly it can generate a cool sound. So, it’s not to everyone’s taste but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the people using it in their records aren’t real singers and if the likes of Miley Cyrus produces something that makes people want to go out and buy it (regardless of the ages of these fans) then who are we to say whether she is a real singer or not? All I know is she is far richer than I am so she is doing something right even if she does come across as being a jumped up little cow!!!

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