Netizens point out the odd paradox of SM Entertainment, where idols with #1 vocal in K-pop often caught lip-syncing

The recent incident of aespa has ignited harsh criticism towards SM Entertainment’s strange ideology.

In recent days, when year-end events are constantly held, aespa suddenly became a topic that was mentioned everywhere because of an extremely sensitive topic: lip-syncing. Their performance a few days ago on the American talk show “The Nick Cannon Show” was constantly criticized by the Korean audience because of their obvious lip-syncing. Not stopping there, aespa‘s stages on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” or most recently on  “MAMA 2021″ were also accused of lip-syncing when the members repeatedly revealed loopholes in breathing and singing.


The reason why the Korean netizens feel so embarrassed and ashamed of aespa’s performance is that the US is a not a market that loves lip-syncing. For a rookie who has just debuted for more than a year and is not that popular in the US like aespa, letting the group lip-syncing is considered a no-way-round orientation of SM.


From what happened with aespa recently, many people have pointed out an extremely odd paradox of SM Entertainment. SM‘s vocals have always been the greatest with good vocal techniques that are not only loved by the audience but also by the professionals. But paradoxically, with all the efforts in vocal training, SM‘s idols are the ones accused of lip-syncing the most. Especially with the 3rd and 4th generation idols of this company, from EXO, Red Velvet to NCT or aespa, all of them have at least once been under fire for lip syncing at the weekly promotion stages, year-end stages, music award ceremonies, or even… private concerts.

This year alone, a series of SM idols from Joy (Red Velvet) to NCT Dream or aespa were found lip-syncing on music shows and year-end awards ceremonies.

In response to the questions of the online community about why SM idols refuse to sing live despite having a good voice and vocal technique, fans of the artists of this company have in turn given many reasons such as protecting voice, focusing on choreography and performance, avoiding cracking, busy schedule, etc. But all these arguments cannot convince the audience because for a singer, singing live is a way to show respect to the audience – who spend money and time to support them, and to their own profession.

For those who have been following SM artists’ activities for a long time, most believe that SM artists are constantly lip-syncing due to their president’s own mindset.  In 2006, while participating in the radio show “Yoo Yeol’s Music Album” of KBS COOL FM, Lee Soo Man made a shocking statement when declaring: “lip-sync is also a genre”. Specifically, the founder of SM Entertainment said: “At first when SM artists lip-synced and focused on choreography, there was criticism directed at them. But we see it as a method to target Asia. Hope you understand that there are many diverse genres of music when viewed from the standpoint of cultural enjoyment”.

Lee Soo Man made a shocking statement when declaring: "lip-sync is also a genre"

Few people know that at that time, Lee Soo Man‘s statement was strongly opposed by industry insiders.  In 2008, when asked about Lee Soo Man‘s statement in the matter of lip-syncing, veteran female singer Lee Eun Mi affirmed:

“That’s non right. The principal indicate of singers is to sing. Singers who sing exclusively during the recording as well as lip-sync on the alive broadcast should non accept the vocalizer title. Of course of written report it’s personal opinions simply those who don’t fifty-fifty sing don’t deserve to endure called singers. They should endure called lip-syncers or entertainers.”

Despite being criticized by industry insiders, it seems that Lee Soo Man and SM Entertainment still maintain the idea that “lip sync is a genre of music” until today. The aespa is the most visible proof. Even though it’s been over a year since their debut, it appears that aespa has yet to perform on a stage where they can literally dance and sing live at the same time. Many people on social media are continually urging SM to change their minds if they do not want the idol’s career to be ruined as a result of the company’s crazy mindset.

Lee Soo Man made a shocking statement when declaring: "lip-sync is also a genre"

What do you think is the reason why SM idols are often accused of lip syncing even though SM is the leading company in vocal training?

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