If it appeared the members of the Rascal Flatts were lip-syncing Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards performance, it is because they were lip-syncing the performance.
In a statement on Twitter, the band confirmed that lead singer Gary LeVox lost his voice prior to Sunday’s broadcast. As a result, the band decided to lip-sync its rendition of “Rewind.”
“After having performed several shows earlier in the week, Gary lost his voice,” wrote the band. “So instead of canceling our commitment to do the show, we made a last-minute decision to lip-sync. We’ve never done it before, and we’re obviously not very good at it.
“We look forward to singing live again in the very near future!”
While the lip-syncing itself would have been jarring in a vacuum, the performance drew particular outrage due to an earlier assurance from hosts Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton that the singing on the ACMs, unlike that found, for instance, at a Britney Spears show, would be live.
Still unclear, however, is why CBS seemed to air the pre-recorded track instead of–rather than in addition to–audio from the arena. That there were virtually no crowd noises, echoes or other disruptions during the performance made it abundantly clear that the vocals were not being generated in the live atmosphere.