Are the Thanksgiving Parade Performers Really Singing?

Thanksgiving Parade 2018

Getty Singer Rita Ora high fives Ronald McDonald during the the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always packed with performances by musical celebrities, Broadway stars, and up-and-coming artists, and 2018’s 92nd parade through New York City was no exception. During their performances, you may have been wondering if your favorite musicians were performing live, or if they were lip-syncing along to a pre-recorded track.

After Rita Ora’s performance of “Let You Love Me” in the parade, Twitter users pointed out her lip-sync “fail,” when she missed her cue to start singing along with the vocal track. Another user wondered why anyone was surprised by the lip-syncing, asking “Did everyone miss @johnlegend doing the same thing?”

John Legend quickly responded to the backlash, explaining that “We all have to lip sync on this parade because the floats don’t have the capacity to handle the sound requirements for a live performance.” He continued the tweet assuring fans that at his concerts, “the vocals are 100% live.”

Rita Ora responded to his tweet, thanking him for clarifying what Twitter was criticizing her for. She added that, as a singer, “It’s annoying for us but anyway!” She also took the opportunity to promise: “All my shows are 100 percent live always have been!” Without acknowledging the harsh words against her lip-sync mistake, she turned her attention back to celebrating the holidays and wishing the same to her followers.

Lip-syncing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade is nothing new. In 2016, Just Jared pointed out that in addition to singers performing live on moving floats being “a logistical nightmare,” the weather in New York City is usually quite cold on Thanksgiving.

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