T-Pain is a surprise winner of “The Masked Singer”

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Dressed as a monster and singing a smooth version of a party anthem, T-Pain won “The Masked Singer.” As if his performance was not shocking enough, finding out who the rapper/singer won against was even more surprising.

Taking Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” to a new level, T-Pain shocked judges and audiences with his rendition. T-Pain won against Gladys Knight and Donny Osmond, who were disguised as a bee and a peacock, respectively.

Why T-Pain’s victory matters

Depending on when audiences were introduced to T-Pain, either his 2005 debut, which featured the popular tracks, “I’m ‘n Luv (Wit a Stripper) and “I’m Sprung.” By 2007, T-Pain released his second album, “Epiphany.” From that recording, audiences were released to his song “Bartender” which went all the way to No. 5, while “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” reached No. 1. The album made it to No. 1 as well.

For some people, “Bartender,” with its up tempo and catchy lyrics, is T-Pain’s most famous song. However, on that track, T-Pain makes the most use of Auto-Tune. The feature disguises the performer’s voice for the most part. The song seemed to link T-Pain to Auto-Tune for ever after. His performance on “The Masked Singer” sought to break that connection. In some ways, “The Masked Singer” helped to free T-Pain from the singing tool.

Now that people know how T-Pain sounds, will he never use Auto-Tune again? That is unclear. What is more probable is that both audiences and critics have an idea of how T-Pain sounds with help, and if his singing is good enough to compete legendary singers, they might be more eager to hear his upcoming projects.

T-Pain’s next project involves a collaboration with rapper, Lil Wayne.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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