Dear Mike, I really like your 411 column. Itís the first thing I read when Keyboard arrives each month. Maybe youíll share a bit more about live performances on TV shows, the Super Bowl, and the like by big-name recording artists. I find it hard to believe that with all that heavy choreography, these people are really able to sing. In fact, I think theyíre lip-syncing and I really hate that. Is it really that hard to sing well live? Or are they really singing that well live? Fill me in so I can stop hatiní. DAN

I feel your pain. Madonna always sings live. Other artists? Well, thatís a story for another time. Most times at the Super Bowl and shows where the transitions are ultra-tight and thereís no opportunity for retakes, the TV production team insists that the artist lip-sync. Sometimes, though, the artistís own management secretly prefers the lip-sync approach. . . . Again, a story worth telling. But if I want to continue in this line of work, I canít tell it until a) I get a real job or b) I retire. The Grammy performances are always live, unless of course youíre Milli Vanilli. [Ouch! óEd.]

But to stop avoiding the question, most artists do prefer to sing live (if they can) but due to technical constraints are sometimes forced to lip-sync. Was that politically correct enough?

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