15 "Singers" Who Can't Really Sing But Hit Fame Anyway

There’s No Way These Artists Would Have Made it on American Idol: 15 “Singers” Who Can’t Really Sing But Hit Fame Anyway

Well, no one ever said you had to have talent to succeed in the music business. Sometimes all you need is the look, the moves, the money, or the right connections. History is filled with examples of “singers” who can’t really sing but they got famous anyway, like the artists on this list.

Britney Spears

"Britney Spears with the snake"

Sorry folks, we love Brit Brit, and we wish she would come back to music full force and put all her doubters to shame, but we also have to admit that Brit isn’t the best singer. It was always her catchy songs and crisp dance moves that carried her.

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff

Hilary is just one example of a Disney Channel star who really didn’t have the chops but who got a record deal anyway. If you’re working for the Disney Channel, you are forced to be a triple threat. Hilary’s paper-thin voice was tolerable and she managed to have 5 albums, several hits, and 2 number one CD’s.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez performing live in Moscow

Photo: WENN

It wasn’t enough to be a gorgeous A-list actress and a skilled dancer, no, Jennifer Lopez had to sing too. Enter J.LO/Jenny from the Block. She definitely had some jams but the vocals just are not there. It’s all about the money anyway, and the moneys says “who cares if she can sing!”

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan was going for the triple threat: actress, singer, and dancer but there was just one problem…well, two; she couldn’t really sing or dance. But that really just doesn’t seem to matter because she recorded songs for both Freaky Friday and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and released an album (Speak) that went platinum.

Nick Carter


Nick Carter stole young girls’ hearts as the baby faced singer in The Backstreet Boys but let’s face it, he didn’t really sound good, did he? As teenagers we all thought he was amazing, but as adults going back to listen to BSB’s “All I have to Give,” he just sounds like a nasally baby.



Cassie might have a record deal but a singer she is not, as was evident by her disastrous performances on 106th and Park and TRL back in 2006. Cassie blamed it on stage fright. We agree: stage fright…and weak vocals.

 Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens

The High School Musical franchise flung Vanessa Hudgens into stardom, so much so that she thought she should have a music career. While young girls everywhere adore her as Gabriella Montez, little girls aren’t exactly the best judge of talent. Her squealing voice grates on the ears, but for some reason they keep letting her sing. She went on to have 2 studio albums with slight success, was cast as a the lead in the musical film Bandslam, and got the part of Roxy in a production of Rent. It may be written somewhere that all Disney channel stars have to sing…even if they can’t.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was the man; a legend of epic proportions but the country “singer” talked his way through most all his songs. No vocal talent needed.



Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Another music icon of legendary proportions, Madonna is a gutsy provocateur; however, her vocals are not the strongest. But the phrase is “no guts, no glory,” right? They mention nothing of vocal talent.


Rihanna performing the London leg of her 777 tour WENN PF

Photo: WENN

Rihanna is one of the hottest things going in music right now, and we can’t deny how infectious her songs are, but this Bajan bad girl is no Beyoncé. She has a voice that can only be described as… “interesting,” and that’s good enough for the music business.

Jesse McCartney

Jesse McCartney WENN pf

Photo: Aaron D. Settipane/WENN

Jesse McCartney knows how to jam a little bit with his music but his whiny, nasally voice leaves much to be desired. Though he tried to put himself in the same class as Justin Timberlake, in a vocal celebrity death match JT’s voice is the undisputed champion.

Paula Abdul

Late Show with David Letterman Paula Abdul

AP Photo/Charles Sykes

According to Paula, opposites attract like the music business and weak talent. Paula was a terrific dancer and choreographer but her voice is too wispy.



No doubt Akon has given much hope to aspiring artists coming out of his home of Africa with his platinum selling, though, raunchy songs. He has made a name for himself in the business, collaborating with just about every modern music artist out there ( he even collabo’ed with Michael Jackson!) but no one seems to notice that he really can’t sing or at least that his songs don’t require any real vocal talent. Oh well, keep the dream alive, Akon.


Ciara performs during the Kick Off of Malibu Station Invasion 10-city Concert Tour WENN pf

Photo: WENN

CiCi may not have the voice but with looks and dance moves like hers, and hits like “Goodies” and “Like a Boy,” the world just didn’t seem to mind.


Pharrell Williams PF WENN

Photo: WENN

Okay, okay, we admit Pharrell is probably best known for being a NERD producer and a rapper but we just couldn’t resist putting him on this list because he SWEARS he’s a singer, too. Come to think of it, we could have also added Wyclef to the list as well. Somewhere along the line someone must have told P that he had a voice because his crackling-voice- self stays singing on tracks. He does have a voice, undeniably, it’s just not a good one.

  • britt

    Nicki minaj needs to be on here

    • Ran Wise

      And that’s real talk! How da’hell did they miss her!

  • d mowry

    Where’s Kanye? He may make a lot of money as a producer, and have some of the best musicians, but he can’t even come close to singing in key. He made the mistake of trying to sing on one of the morning news show, when they had their summer sessions out doors. Kanye didn’t have his pitch corrector, and he was horribly off key. The phrase “fix it in the mix” had him in mind.

  • Choocoonoocoo

    Whoever made this list deserves to be slapped. HARD. There are people on this list that don’t belong: Madonna, Johnny Cash, Vanessa Hudgens, Jesse McCartney, and a few others. And a lot of people who should be on this list. I agree Rihanna isn’t one of the best singers, but Beyonce can not sing. In my opinion, Rihanna is a better artist than Beyonce.

  • Real Musician

    What credentials does the author of this article have in determining who can or can’t sing?? I completely disagree with some of the choices on this list.

  • XanderZane41

    Rhihanna and Madonna can both sing. Neither are on the same level as Whitney, Aretha, Mariah or Celine, but they are leagues better then a Lindsey Lohan or Hilari Duff, that’s for sure.

  • Jill

    There is no character named Roxy in RENT. Vanessa Hudgens played Mimi and was god awful at it.

  • Robin

    Where are Katy Perry and Taylor Swift?

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