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Britney Spears: I Do Sing Live, and Nobody Ever Gives Me Credit

2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 2 - Show
Christopher Polk, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Over the weekend, “Shape of You” crooner Ed Sheeran hit back at The Haters accusing him of miming through his Glastonbury set with a quick explanation of his setup: Google the term “loop station,” you non-musicians.

Perhaps inspired by this act of artistic self-defense, another singer-songwriter is doing the same thing — an entirely unexpected vocalist, at that: The Legendary Miss Britney Spears.

By now, it’s generally understood within Britney’s own fanbase, and the pop music-loving community at large, that the Undisputed Princess of Pop™ employs heavy playback in all of her performances — apart from her brief crowd interactions and/or outbursts — so that she can twirl, hair flip and get to work, bitch.

But that fact is in fact…fake news. I guess?

In a snippet from a newly surfaced Israeli TV interview ahead of her upcoming concert in Tel Aviv over Fourth of July weekend, the Blackout pop icon rather shockingly answered a question about playback during her shows.

And not only did B-Girl insist that she is singing live (!) with “a little bit” of playback (!!), but she actually sounds…kind of pissed off that anyone would ever think otherwise?

Interviewer: How much of your show is with playback — backed up with playback, how much of it is live?

Britney: “I’m glad you’re addressing this question because it’s really funny. A lot of people think that I don’t sing live. I do usually — because I’m dancing so much — I do have a little bit of playback, but there’s a mixture of my voice and the playback. It really pisses me off because I’m busting my ass out there and singing at the same time, and nobody ever really gives me credit for it. You know?”

I, uh…welp.

Maybe the fan forum freak-outs circa 2009 were true all along (“‘Everytime’ was live tonight, I swear I heard her!”). Maybe she is singing, and the mic’s turned down way low. (“Turn it, turn it up…”)

Perhaps, being that she is Godney, she’s literally always singing live and she just happens to sound exactly like the studio version of her 1998 vocals two decades later — even when the microphone is accidentally ripped off her face and the vocals continue without skipping a beat.

Or maybe…somebody’s just being a little li-yah.

Now, trust and believe, I’m the first to jump in to her defense in terms of her vocal ability in general (“Where Are You Now” note!), and yes, she has absolutely sung live in concert years ago, but as for live vocals in the past, uh, decade or so? I am, ironically, speechless.

Whatever you say (or sing), B.

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