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15 Most Outrageous Faked Musical Performances

After the Chili Peppers’ instantly infamous “unplugged” performance at the Super Bowl, we revisit some notorious acts of fakery

red hot chili peppers super bowl

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During this past weekend's Super Bowl halftime show, a few eagle-eyed people among the hundreds of millions watching at home noticed something odd about the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance: No cords or cables were plugged into Flea's bass or Josh Klinghoffer's guitar. After a brief uproar, Flea admitted in an open letter, "When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno [Mars] to play our song 'Give It Away' at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums and guitar would be prerecorded," he wrote. "I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the T.V. viewers." 

But, of course, there is a long history of our favorite pop stars only pretending to sing and play. Here are some of the most embarrassing, funniest and just plain weirdest instances of musicians demonstrating their miming skills. By Daniel Kreps

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Jimmy Fallon’s Lip-Sync Duels

Lip-syncing has become a staple of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, soon to be The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. The late-night host and his celebrity guests turned miming into a competition. Fallon first faced off against John Krasinski, but the truly epic battle came when Fallon challenged Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Super Bowl Surprise

10 years after the Janet Jackson nipplegate incident, the powers-that-be at the NFL are still not interested in too much spontanaiety happening during their biggest event, the Super Bowl. So while Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman Anthony Kiedis was allowed to sing live, the rest of the band was neither miked up nor plugged in, lest any unexpected glitches disrupt the spectacle.