The 48-year-old singer wore a dress with a massive train from which a dozen shirtless male dancers emerged from underneath.
Carey’s performance was met with immense applause but many people on social media were questioning whether she was singing or lip-syncing.
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In 2016, the All I Want For Christmas is You singer suffered a major technical malfunction onstage at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.
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Carey’s mood seemed to range from frustration to resignation as she struggled with the pre-recorded musical tracks. Telling the crowd jammed into Times Square in New York City that there had not been a sound check for her hit song Emotions, she lamented that “we’re missing some of these vocals, but it is what it is.”
“Let the audience sing,” she decided as she paced the stage. “I’m trying to be a good sport here,” she said, adding her own sarcastic review of the performance. “That was … amazing.”
The next song, We Belong Together, went no better. At times, she lowered the microphone from her mouth and the music, vocals and all, kept playing, making it clear she was lip-synching.
Carey cut her performance short and later tweeted about the night, starting with a brief profanity, throwing in a couple of sad emojis and concluding with, “Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”
Carey has not addressed the AMAs lip-syncing accusations as of this writing.
—With files from the Associated Press