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5 People Who Became Famous By Singing Badly

Every once in a great while, a singer comes along who is so untalented, yet so willing to sing in public, that people buy records just to marvel at his or her awfulness. These "musicians" are actually selling laughs, and are even more effective if the audience isn't quite sure whether the artist is in on the joke.

Florence Foster Jenkins tells the story of one such artist. The movie stars Meryl Streep as a woman with a deep and abiding passion for music who couldn't carry a tune if it came with handles. Since it's in theaters today, let's start with her as we look at other infamously bad musicians.

These five acts have a few things in common: no stage fright, thick skin, and lasting fame. It takes guts and charm to pull off a career as a bad singer, but the rewards can be great.


Florence Foster Jenkins was born in 1868 and made recordings in the first half of the 20th century. She wanted to be an opera singer from an early age, but was discouraged by her parents and later by her husband. Yet she still pined for the stage, and after filing for a divorce and securing an inheritance from her father, she set out to build her career. She performed a handful of concerts in New York, Washington, and Newport, where the audience was filled with loyal friends who encouraged her to pursue her dreams, as well as curious music lovers who felt compelled to witness the carnage.

Jenkins could neither sing on key nor keep a rhythm, yet she loved performing, and her recitals included a number of elaborate costumes. Later called "The Diva of Din," she shrugged off laughter from the audience and less-than-stellar reviews, attributing them to jealousy. There is no evidence that Jenkins ever gave less than her best efforts. Many who knew the charming musician refused to discourage her as she led her deluded but happy life as a famous opera singer.

Jenkins avoided Carnegie Hall for most of her life, but finally booked it in October 1944 when she was 76 years old. Tickets sold out weeks before the show, and she was enshrined as the worst singer to ever play the venue. She died a month later, still oblivious to the mocking reality behind her fame.

Listen to Jenkins perform Mozart's "Queen of the Night" (if you can handle it).


Elva Ruby Connes Miller was known to TV audiences simply as Mrs. Miller. She grabbed the attention of Baby Boomers and their parents with her appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Laugh-In, and other variety shows of the 1960s, but she began her career by singing gospel and children's songs, and then giving away the records. She was discovered by disc jockey Gary Owens, who put Miller's music on his radio show in 1960 to draw laughs. He'd later go on to become the announcer on Laugh-In.

Miller's first album. Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits, was released in 1966 and sold 250,000 copies in three weeks. Even Miller was astonished by the reaction; she was also upset that her fame was a result of the poor quality of her singing, saying:

"I don't sing off-key and I don't sing off-rhythm. They got me to do so by waiting until I was tired and then making the record. Or they would cut the record before I could become familiar with the song. At first I didn't understand what was going on. But later I did, and I resented it. I don't like to be used."

However, money talks and Miller eventually got into the spirit of her act. She managed to stay in character while performing, as the unaware diva in the tradition of Florence Foster Jenkins. Miller was also a genuinely charming, ladylike rural character from Missouri who inspired respect as she sang for laughs. Her 1968 album Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing featured the grandmotherly woman offering a curious-looking plate of brownies on the cover and singing psychedelic '60s tunes. This endeared her to the hippie generation, but Miller always insisted she was not aware of the drug references.

Feeling betrayed, she left her recording label and tried to change her image to that of a conventional singer. That attempt failed. She retired in the 1970s, and died in 1997 at the age of 90, but you can still hear Mrs. Miller performing live with Jimmy Durante.


The Portsmouth Sinfonia was an orchestra formed in 1970 at England's Portsmouth School of Art. The original goal was to make the experience of musical performance open to those students who didn't have a background—or talent—in music. Those who played an instrument could join, but only if they switched to an instrument they weren't familiar with. In fact, members didn't even have to be students, and they were forbidden to play less than the best they could.

The band was an odd experiment that took off: They played concerts, then released an album, then played the Royal Albert Hall. The orchestra was led by several well-known guest conductors, the most illustrious regular member being Brian Eno, who went on to legendary fame as a member of Roxy Music and producer for David Bowie, U2, and more. Unfortunately or fortunately, the Sinfonia stopped performing in 1979. You can hear their recording "Classical Muddly" on YouTube.


Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

William Hung found fame on the TV show American Idol in 2004. An engineering student at UC Berkeley at the time, Hung didn't make the cut for the competition, but his 2003 audition was featured in an episode dedicated to those who lacked the talent for the contest. His performance and his good-natured response to failure made him a sensation.

Hung was immediately invited to appear on various TV talk shows to discuss his experience—and sing. This led to a record deal from Koch Entertainment and three albums, plus appearances in sitcoms, movies, and advertisements. Hung also performed live at various sporting events. Despite a lack of singing talent, crowds loved him for his sincerity and humility. In April, Hung was invited to sing "She Bangs"—the song that made him infamous—on the American Idol finale.


Wing Han Tsang, who records using only the name Wing, is a professional singer from New Zealand. Born in Hong Kong, Wing began singing in nursing homes soon after she immigrated to New Zealand. Wing's reviews compare her to immortals like Mrs. Miller and Jenkins, but her style is a bit more unconventional.

Wing became all the more famous when she was parodied on South Park; at one point you could even arrange for her to sing you a song over the phone for a nominal fee.Unfortunately, Wing retired from singing professionally in 2015. You can hear many of her performances online, such as her rendition of The Carpenters' "Close to You".

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Bad Singing Habits

You voice is an instrument unlike any other – you use it for so much more than just singing.

It’s also intricately tied to your physical well-being and health. A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthier voice.

Singing is strange, because it comes so naturally, and yet there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Over time, singers who have never had formal training often develop bad habits. Part of the problem is that you’re often singing in spaces that are not conducive to healthy habits – bars, late nights, loud places.

And you’ll end up developing bad habits just from speaking in an environment like that.

Here are a few bad habits that you should try to break as soon as possible.

But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:

Speaking Loudly Before & After Shows

This is the single biggest voice killer.

I can’t count how many times I’ve played a show, hung out afterwards, stood by the merch table trying to chat with people, and talked myself hoarse.

It takes a great deal of effort, and it might even weird people out, but you need to make an effort to speak at a normal volume at all times. Otherwise you’ll wreck your voice.

This is especially applicable on tour. Yelling at people night after night is a disaster.

Overusing Your Voice On A Day To Day Basis

As a musician, you can end up doing a lot of singing.

My friend Roman Clarke makes great pop music, and when he’s working on demos, he’ll testing out a lot of different vocal parts – leads, background vocals, and more. He’ll often work on recordings for 10 hours straight.

And, one day, after a week of this, he lost his voice.

It was incredibly frustrating for him, as he was right in the middle of his creative process, and all of the sudden he couldn’t sing.

The truth is, you are not meant to sing more than a few hours a day.

You need to limit your singing to three to four hours per day at most and within that, you need to take breaks and remain hydrated too.

Don’t leave all your vocal recording to one big chunk – break it up with instrument work and editing.

Compulsive Throat Clearing Is Another Bad Habit For Singers

Vocal coaches used to recommend other ways to clear your throat without actually clearing your throat.

This doesn’t really work. Clearing your throat is the most effective way to remove mucous from your throat.

However, people develop a compulsive throat clearing habit out of nervousness.

This habit should be broken. Throat clearing puts a big strain on your vocal cords and leaves you feeling hoarse.

Be aware of how often you are clearing your throat before and after vocal takes or in between songs.

Overusing Caffeine & Alcohol Is Bad For Your Voice

Preventing vocal injuries

Ahh, caffeine and alcohol. Two of my favorite things.

Drinking coffee and alcohol isn’t necessarily going to ruin a performance, but it’s not going to help.

Alcohol may make leave you feeling more confident, but it also causes the muscles in your throat to constrict, which can affect your range.

Coffee and caffeine contributes to dehydration and excessive dryness in your throat.

Of course, I’m not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee or alcohol. That would be hypocritical of me.

However, if you’re worried about it, make sure to have a glass of water with your coffee or beer. This helps re-hydrate your throat and keep you hydrated in general.

Which brings me to the next bad habit.

Under-Using Water

I am very bad at staying hydrated. I don’t often feel thirsty, so I’ll go too long without hydrating, and then when I am thirsty I reach for alcohol or coffee. Not a good habit.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a singer can do. Keeping your vocal cords well-hydrated is one of the best ways to avoid vocal injury.

It’s recommended that you drinking eight to 10 glasses of water per day, but I personally cannot do this.

Instead, I’ve been trying to fill up a water bottle at the beginning of the day and keep it on my person. Sip it whenever I get the chance.

Staying hydrated isn’t just good for you voice, it’s good for your general health. If you get frequent colds and headaches, try increasing your water consumption.

Skipping Warmups

Warming up can be kind of boring and lame. I get it.

That said, you don’t go for a run without stretching a little bit before! So, you shouldn't sing without warming up either.

A few years ago, I toured with a band that would warm up vocally before every show. Just five to 10 minutes of vocal warmups in the green room.

Of course, not every venue has a green room. If you need a space, try warming up before you leave the house, or warm up in the car.

Doing a few minutes of vocal warmups will leave your voice feeling ready to sing.

Doing it with the whole band (if you’re all singing) can focus the band’s energy, and leave you feeling ready to play a great show.

Look up “vocal warmups” on Spotify, or YouTube, and find some you like.

Another fun practice is looking up “cello drones” for tuning. Find the cello drone that is in the same key as your first song, and sing along to just the drone. Doing this will center your pitch, and you’ll end up singing with better tuning.

Poor Posture Is A Band Singing Habit

Bad habits singers should avoid

Posture is a tough one for a lot of artists.

If you’re playing an instrument while singing, you’re automatically compromising your posture.

Spending time in a van or hunched over a computer screen will also negatively impact your posture.

Generally, singers tend to collapse their chest and rib cage, which leads to a corresponding fall of the head and neck. This impedes the voice and doesn’t allow it to fully resonate throughout the chest and body.

Alternatively, you can end up with a hyper-extended or stiff posture that results in tension throughout the entire body. This often happens when you’re reaching for high notes or feeling nervous.

Working with a vocal coach can help you correct these issues. Many singers also study yoga.

Hard Vocal Attack

When you start singing, you need to be aware of how you are attacking the note – be aware of the onset of the note.

Some singers use a glottal attack, which is too hard.

Your vocal cords vibrate together like two bands to create noise. The space between the cords is called the Glottus. Sometimes, when you attack a note too hard, your vocal cords come together, creating a harsh sound and sometimes an unpleasant feeling.

This happens naturally on certain vowel sounds. Try saying the word “apple”. Trying saying “orange”. Or try saying “uhhhh”.

Can you feel that the attack on those syllables is a little harsh?

This is as a result of approaching these syllables/notes too quickly.

You can avoid this harshness by approaching them more gradually. Instead of saying the word all at once at the same volume, ease into the words.

If you’re repeatedly using hard glottal attack whilst singing or speaking, you can develop vocal nodes – every singer’s worst fear.

Vocal nodes are hard, rough growths on your vocal cords. They can be tiny, or as large as a pea.

They are often called screamers nodes or teachers nodes because they usually appear after overusing your voice, or using your voice with poor technique.

Vocal nodes can prevent your vocal cords from vibrating normally, resulting in a loss of vocal control, a hoarse voice, and sometimes pain.

Avoid overuse and avoid harsh sounds.

Overusing Vocal Fry

Singing the right way

If you don’t know what vocal fry is, I would recommend just looking it up. It’s easier heard than explained.

Basically, there are four ways you can produce vocal tones.

Vocal fry, modal, falsetto and whistles.

Modal and falsetto is what most people use to sing.

Vocal fry is the lowest mode of producing tones – it basically closes the vocal cords and allows just little bubbles of sound to come through.

You can produce this sound by saying “ahh” with as little force or breath as possible.

A lot of singers use vocal fry at the beginning of their notes, because it sounds sexy.

Now, for a while vocal coaches were recommending this habit be squashed altogether.

In recent years, thinking has evolved. It’s probably fine to use vocal fry while singing, as long as you’re careful with it.

Be aware if you’re starting to slip into vocal fry while speaking. Like anything, overusing this tone of voice can start to wear on your vocal cords and potentially produce nodes.

Not Practicing Or Working With A Coach Or Taking Online Singing Lessons

I can’t count the number of friends I’ve had that have waited until their late-20s and 30s to see a vocal coach and work on their singing.

How many other skills do you have that you’ve never received any kind of training for, rarely practice, and yet use often? Not many!

It’s time. Ask around, and go see a vocal coach or take online singing lessons like 30 day singer.

Do you want to sing higher? Improve your tone? Improve your posture? Increase longevity?

Vocal coaches give you what YouTube and articles never can – individualized attention and suggestions.

Nobody cares more about your voice than you do, and nobody can help you with it as much as a dedicated vocal coach.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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The Best Karaoke Songs For Horrible Singers

I spent 10 years of my life in karaoke bars -- first as a patron, and later as a paid karaoke host, where my job wasn’t just to keep the audience’s energy up, but to try to figure out from clues like song choice, vibe, and confidence level whether a performer would win the crowd over or completely lose the room. You may be surprised to learn that that doesn’t mean I’d try to figure out whether they were going to be a good singer, but rather whether they’d be good at karaoke -- a completely different metric.

On any given night, a trained singer could get up and belt out a Celine Dion song and bore everyone to death, while a terrible singer who was great at karaoke (that is to say: kept the audience engaged, had a sense of humor about themselves, and was fun to watch) could win over the night.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 standby songs for any terrible singers wanting to stretch into karaoke territory. Some of them require actual singing. Others are mainly instrumental. But the key element to all of them is that they allow the performer to have fun without worrying about whether or not he or she or they are hitting the right notes 100% of the time. That’s not -- and has never -- been the point of doing great karaoke.

Oh, and one more note: regardless of whether you’re a good or bad singer, “American Pie” is the worst karaoke song of all time. It’s 5 whole minutes longer than you think it is, you don’t know all the lyrics, and if you sign up for it I’ll glare at you all night and push you down the list as far as I can. Don’t.

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"Tom’s Diner" by Suzanne Vega

This stream-of-consciousness hit for Suzanne Vega is literally talk-singing; it’s sort of hypnotic and exudes cool, plus the “do-do-do-da-do-do” section is sing-alongable. It may not be a party starter like some of the others below, but it’s still a reasonable choice if you’re worried about your voice.

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"Summer Nights" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

This one seems counterintuitive, but was often the song I’d convince tentative singers to sing -- and they’d always crush it. Why? Well, first-off, everyone knows every lyric by osmosis, so no need to look at the TVs. Your audience will always do the call-and-response, turning it into a bar-wide party, and you need to do it with a partner, which means if there’s a guy or girl you’ve been checking out, it’s a killer icebreaker to get them to sing with you (ask the host to facilitate this if you’re extra-shy, and extra-points for gender-bending or same-gendering this one, for sure.) Also? This song is actually BETTER if it’s sung off-key; get everyone to sing the final “niiii-iiight” terribly together with you as well and you’ll be a karaoke hero, all night. Trust me.

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Anything from Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits

One of Tom Petty’s biggest strengths as a songwriter was writing songs that had multiple melodic hooks that fall right into most people’s mid-ranges, full of easily-memorable lyrics that sound best sung by large groups of people. Whether you go for “American Girl” (“Oh-yeah, alright, take it easy baby, make it last all night”) or “Won’t Back Down” (“Heeeey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out”) or “Free Fallin’” (“Ventura Boulevard”) there are audience-response sections that give way to full-crowd participation -- exactly what you’re looking for as a bad singer.

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"I Love Rock And Roll" by Joan Jett

There’s a reason Britney Spears chose to cover this song (and, speaking of Brit-Brit, “Toxic” and “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” are both decent choices for the non-singer as well): it requires grit, and attitude, and energy… and not much range. Jett’s a legend, and this is one of those songs that no one hates; it’s an easy choice, and has a powerful, sing-along chorus.

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"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond

This classic is one some may say is one of the best karaoke songs, period. It’s also great if you can’t really sing: everyone knows or at least can slur along with every word, it’s in most people’s middle range, and the chorus is a party.

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"Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks

You’ve gotta wait ‘til towards the the end of the night to bust this one out, but even if you’re not a country fan, and you have no pitch, by the time you get to the chorus it won’t matter.

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"Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus

I have a female friend who insists that even though this is a dude-sung-song that it’s perfect for women who don’t have a ton of range. Initially I poo-poohed it, until I listened back; it’s right in the spot most women can hit, plus you can gender-bender the lyrics to the verses in any way you damn choose. Great choice. Also, the longevity of this song’s popularity -- it came out in 2000 on the soundtrack to a Jason Biggs movie -- is one of the great mysteries of modern music.

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"Tequila" by The Champs

There will never be a more brilliant bad-singing performance at karaoke than the one above: a man stands on stage, stone-faced, waiting for his moment. Breathlessly, it comes. He leans in. “Tequila,” he says, off-key. He then waits for his next moment to pounce. It’s a completely genius bit, and can be replicated at any karaoke bar, anywhere in the country, for maximum laughs. Hilarious, and requires literally no talent whatsoever.

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"Detachable Penis" by King Missile

This ‘90s hit (yes, it was a hit!) is a talk-sung anthem that also has one of the silliest choruses of all time. An added bonus is that if you don’t follow the lyrics along exactly, and you shouldn’t, you can make up literally any story that you want about cutting someone’s penis off; in our #metoo moment, that shouldn’t be too hard to do.

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"These Boots Are Made For Walking" by Nancy Sinatra

Not just a great choice in terms of an easy-to-sing song, but possibly the absolute best post-breakup karaoke-bender song of all time that’s not “I Will Survive.”

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Jeff Miller’s go-to songs are Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance,” Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” and Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” He’s at @jeffmillerla on Instagram.

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Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Karaoke Version)

The Truth About Having a Bad Singing Voice


Do you love to sing but are afraid you have a terrible voice? This is the most common fear and complaint that vocal teachers hear. Some people believe they can never become singers because they hate the sound of their voice, and they discourage themselves from giving singing their best shot.

Even if you have a “bad” singing voice in the beginning, the truth is that once you understand the basics and establish good practice routines, you’ll become a much better singer. You’ll also come to appreciate the uniqueness of your voice!

Here are 3 tips to remember when deciding whether you should pursue singing.

Why You Think You’re a Bad Singer & Why You Actually Aren’t

People have similar reactions after hearing a world-class pianist. “She is such an amazing musician,” someone might say. “What incredible skill!” others might point out. But no one is likely to cry, “What a beautiful piano!”

After hearing a world-class singer, on the other hand, the reactions are quite different. “What a beautiful voice,” most people say. “He is so talented, his voice is so impressive,” others might suggest.

Do you notice the difference? Singers garner more compliments for their actual instrument (their voices) than for their skills. But in truth, while the instrument is important, the musician is just as – if not more – important.

Separate the Instrument from the Musician

Imagine someone gifting you an instrument you’ve never played before. For example, a clarinet, which you’d have no idea what to do with it. Even if you made sound with it, it’d likely sound cringe-worthy. Would you judge the clarinet as terrible? No, that clarinet, in the hands of a practitioner, could produce beautiful music.

Your voice, like a clarinet, is an instrument too. If it sounds terrible at first, it doesn’t mean it’s useless, you just have to figure out a way to make it useful.

Even if you magically traded voices with an incredible singer, you still wouldn’t be able to sing! It’s like getting a more expensive clarinet: you still have to learn how to use it, and practice it deliberately.

Your voice is a work-in-progress. Don’t be so quick to judge it, and write yourself off. And if you’ve ever asked the question, “can anyone learn how to sing?” check out the video below.

Focus on the Work & Improve Your Musicianship

As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Singing is hard work, but you can be smarter about it by learning and improving your musicianship in all areas. You have to learn to perform proper breathing exercises, like wind instrumentalists.

You have to learn how to access different notes within your range, like string players. You have to gain control over all of the tiny muscles of the throat, face, jaw, and mouth.

Learning these concepts, and training yourself with practice will not only help you sing better, but it’ll also improve confidence in other areas of life.

So before you rule yourself out of a singing career, try practicing and learning from a professional teacher. Try free classes with TakeLessons Live, or 1-on-1 private singing lessons near you. 


Youtube bad singing

BTS' 'Dynamite' hits 1 Billion views on YouTube; becomes fastest Korean group to achieve this feat

It’s official! BTSis now the fastest Korean Pop band to clock a billion views on YouTube for their 2020 summer hit, ‘Dynamite’.
V, J-Hope, RM, Jin, Jimin, Jungkook and Suga continued their record-breaking spree, by clocking a billion views in just over 7 months of its release on the video streaming site. The song dropped online on August 21, 2020, and hit the milestone on April 12, 2021.

‘Dynamite’ also holds the YouTube record for the most viewed music videos in the first 24 hours of release. The official music video clocked an impressive 101.1 million views on the first day of its release, making it number one on the list of all-time highest views on the site.

This will, however, not be the first music video of 2020 to hit the billion views mark. Rapper Future’s track ‘Life Is Good’ featuring Drake, which dropped on January 10, 2020, is currently on its way to the 2 billion views mark with over 1.84 billion views.

‘Dynamite’ is the latest addition to BTS’ list of songs with over 1 billion views. ‘DNA’ and ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’ checked the boys into the prestigious 1 billion views club.

The boys have only BTS ARMYto thank for their latest record. The fans got #DynamiteTo1B trending on social media soon after the music video crossed the 950 million mark.

‘Dynamite’ also earned BTS their first Grammy Award nomination, which they lost to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s ‘Rain On Me’. The boys, however, went on to win several other awards including the recent iHeartRadio award are up for a Brit award.
Meanwhile, on the professional front, the band has announced that the 'Bang Bang' Con is returning in 2021. Taking to social media the group announced that the virtual event is scheduled to take place on April 17 at 3 p.m. KST on their official YouTube channel 'BANGTANTV.'

'BTS' recently dropped the new song 'Film Out,' a collaboration with J-pop band Back Number that appears as the ending theme in the new Japanese film 'Signal: Long-Term Unsolved Case Investigation Team'. The track will be included on the septet's next Japanese-language album, 'BTS, The Best', which is scheduled for release on June 16.
Vocal Coach Reaction to Famous Singers Bad Singing Moments (Live)

Miranda Sings

Fictional character played by Colleen Ballinger

Miranda Sings is a fictional character created on the Internet in 2008 and portrayed by American comedian, actress, singer and YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger.[1] Ballinger displays videos of the comically talentless, egotistical, misguided and quirky character on her YouTube channel. In these videos, the eccentric, narcissistic, yet endearing character sings and dances badly, gives inept "tutorials", recounts her daily activities, discusses current events that she often misunderstands, collaborates with other YouTubers, and rants about her critics, reading examples of hate mail directed at the character on social media; she responds to them with her catchphrase: "Haters Back Off!".[2][3]

Inspired by early YouTube videos that she saw, and by rude classmates, Ballinger created the character as a satire of bad but arrogant singers who believe that posting their videos on YouTube will lead to them breaking into show business. As of July 2021, the Miranda Sings YouTube channel has more than 2 billion views and 10 million subscribers, and Miranda has accumulated more than 12 million TikTok followers and 6 million Instagram followers. The character also has an active presence on other social media platforms.

Since 2009, in addition to her internet videos, Ballinger has presented live comedy acts, in character as Miranda Sings, at first in cabaret spaces and later in theaters in New York, London, and other cities in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere; she has toured regularly since 2014. Her acts include Miranda's signature off-key singing of pop music hits and show tunes, with introductions focusing on the character's backstory. Her delivery is full of malapropisms, mondegreens and spoonerisms, and the acts incorporate interaction with audience volunteers, giving a "voice lesson" to, or singing a duet with, Broadway or other musical celebrities, reading hate mail, seeking a boyfriend, and singing while being stabbed through the neck in her "magic trick". One of Miranda's 2018 tour stops was filmed and released as a 2019 Netflix comedy special.

The character has appeared in television and web series and other media. Her first network television appearance was in a 2012 episode of the TV show Victorious. In 2014, she guest-starred in character on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld and appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In 2015, she released a New York Times #1 best-selling book, written in Miranda's voice, titled Selp-Helf.[4] Miranda is the main character in the Netflix original series Haters Back Off (2016–2017). Ballinger won a Teen Choice Award[5] and a Streamy Award for her Miranda videos.[6]


YouTube videos[edit]

Since 2008, Ballinger has posted more than 800 videos as the character Miranda Sings on the YouTube channel of the same name.[7][8] The character is a satire of bad, but egotistical, singers who post internet videos of themselves singing in hopes of breaking into show business, despite the realistic or cruel comments of "haters" who comment on their videos. More generally, it is a satire of pretentious and untalented performers everywhere.[9][10] Miranda is supposedly a home-schooled single woman who lives with her mother, uncle and baby. She is narcissistic, infantilized, overconfident and has a relentless ambition to achieve show business fame.[11][12]

In the videos, the Miranda character sings in a comically off-key, yet plausible, voice and covers pop music hits, show tunes and original songs. Sometimes she discusses current events, which she usually misunderstands, gives inept mock-"tutorials", rants about her internet critics or discusses the character's backstory.[13][14] She uses spoonerisms, mondegreens and malapropisms,[3] is irritable, ludicrously self-absorbed, narcissistic, prudish and self-righteous, socially awkward, and has a defiant, arrogant attitude.[15][16][17]The Times describes the character as "self-obsessed and immune to criticism".[9] Her videos "exhibit the near-tragic extent of Miranda’s idiocy."[18] As Robert Lloyd, writing for the Los Angeles Times put it, "the ferocious enormousness of Miranda’s self-regard, which blots out nearly everything around her, is inversely proportional to her talent."[19] To viewers who take the videos seriously and offer criticism, she responds with the catchphrase, "Haters Back Off!",[2][3] telling these critics that they are "just jealous" and that "haters make me famous".[20][21]

The character displays eccentric facial traits such as unusually active eyebrows and a crooked smile described as a "side smirk".[13] Her head is cocked to one side, and her pronunciation quirks include an emphasis on the use of a prominent hard 'g' (in such words as 'singing' and 'song').[11] In place of lyrics that she cannot remember, the character "scat" sings.[22] She wears bright red lipstick drawn beyond the borders of her lips, her hair pulled up at the temples to expose the maximum amount of forehead, dresses in mismatched out-of-style clothing (such as a men's shirt buttoned to the neck with red sweatpants), and often dances stiffly to the music she is performing.[23][24] Miranda's views of society and morality are politically incorrect, and she displays a strong prudish aversion to anything risque, which she calls "porn".[25][26] Since 2013, Miranda has frequently collaborated on videos that other YouTubers display on their channels, often accumulating millions of views.[27]People magazine featured a Miranda collaboration with Tyler Oakley and Bethany Mota.[28] Her YouTube audience was relatively modest until early 2013 when her audience reached 150,000 subscribers[29] and began to expand rapidly.[30]

In 2018, Ballinger became pregnant with her first child, and Miranda announced her own pregnancy on YouTube.[31] Ballinger created a story arc on Miranda's channel in which the character claimed to be the "virgin Miranda", with a virgin conception; she mentioned this soon afterwards on Live with Kelly and Ryan.[32] After Ballinger gave birth in December 2018,[33] she tweeted about it from Miranda's account.[34] Since then, Miranda has incorporated footage of the baby into her videos, focusing on how he inconveniences her, is trying to murder her, is "dumb", and is a "cannobel" because of his quest for her breast milk.[35]

Live comedy act, early years[edit]

Since April 2009,[36] in addition to her internet videos, Miranda Sings has performed her one-woman live comedy acts at first at cabaret spaces and later theatres in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Toronto, Amsterdam, Sydney and other cities in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere.[37][38][39] In 2009, called her "the hottest, freshest and oddest breakout star in the musical theatre/cabaret scene".[40]

In the live comedy acts, Ballinger begins the show as herself and then transforms onstage into Miranda.[41] Miranda typically sings pop hits and some musical theatre songs in her signature off-key style (one reviewer called this "deranged versions duly delivered with gawky, gurning panache"[42]); gives "voice lessons" or acting lessons to Broadway or West End stars, such as Sutton Foster, Andrew Rannells, and Shoshana Bean,[43] to Broadway casts of shows such as Billy Elliot (to which cast she also gave dance and acting "lessons") and Rock of Ages,[11] and to pop stars such as Ariana Grande[44] and Tori Kelly,[45] in which she is hypercritical of the stars' performances, often telling them that they should leave show business; sings one or more duets with established (and bemused) musical theatre singers;[46] indignantly reads hate mail (bleeping out any profanity) that she has received on her YouTube channel and other social media; interacts with audience volunteers; uses projected presentations containing terrible spelling; and sometimes improvises a song based on audience suggestions. The act has autobiographical elements from Miranda's backstory.[2][47][48][49] In her holiday act, in addition to some of the above, Miranda has recreated the Christmas story "complete with the Three Kings, the Drummer Boy, and Santa Claus, as well as a shockingly dissonant 'Carol of the Bells'" and other Christmas songs.[50]

As an example of the character's delusional arrogance, Miranda stated in her early acts that she expected to perform the role of Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway. During 2009, as part of her act, she announced that she planned to date Cheyenne Jackson (who she did not realize is openly gay) or to find another boyfriend, who must be talented and famous. She was photographed and videotaped together with Jackson at Broadway on Broadway 2009, confronting him about their "relationship", and finally receiving a "first kiss" from him.[51] In 2010, she stated in her videos and comedy acts that Jackson is no longer her boyfriend (because he never called her for a date), and so she was seeking a new, famous, talented, handsome boyfriend, such as Zac Efron[52] or Justin Bieber.[53] In 2013, Ballinger began a series of Miranda collaboration videos about "dating" YouTuber Joey Graceffa; an ongoing gag is that she cannot pronounce his last name.[54] She has stated that the two are engaged,[55] but she has accumulated several other boyfriends or "baes".[56]

In 2009, Miranda proclaimed that she was not just a "triple threat" entertainer, but a "four threat", because she is also a model, as well as a singer/actor/dancer.[9][57] Since 2010, she has asserted that she is a "five threat" talent, adding "magic" to her list of skills, and in videos she has combined inept magic tricks with singing.[58][59] A regular part of her live comedy acts since 2010 includes a "magic trick" where Miranda sings while appearing to be stabbed through the neck by a sword. The joke is that she sings better when the sword is inserted through her neck.[60] In 2012, Miranda Sings was one of the headliners at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, presented by WaterTower Theatre in Addison, Texas.[2][61] A 2012 Miranda Birdland cabaret act was filmed by Seth Rudetsky.[62][63]

Live comedy act, 2013 to present[edit]

As the popularity of the character increased, Ballinger was able to book longer sell-out runs of her live comedy acts at larger and larger venues including, in 2013, a six-performance run at the Leicester Square Theatre in London[64] and theatres in Australia.[65] In 2014, she expanded to larger theatres, beginning with the Best Buy Theater in New York City[66] and, among other theatres, three shows in London's Cadogan Hall.[42] A Buffalo, New York reviewer explained the shows' appeal: "Miranda's stage show – a quixotic blend of melodramatic pathos, lightning-speed wit and cultural literacy – is no mere ... reproduction of her Internet channel. It is as theatrical as it is musical, comedic as it is inspirational."[17] A London reviewer concurred:

Miranda [is] hilarious, and I was struck on several occasions by what an accomplished creation the character is – with her own vocabulary, idiosyncrasies and bizarre (not to mention increasingly sinister) backstory, you've never seen anything like her, and the commitment with which Ballinger embodies this strange, strange girl is nothing short of admirable. Bridging both personas, the moment she transforms into Miranda, on-stage and mid-song, is an absolute joy – I'd struggle to recall hearing an audience erupt to such an extent, and I couldn't help but join in.

— BroadwayWorld reviewer Kevin Sherwin[67]

Ballinger begins a Miranda show as herself in 2014

In her 2014 "Selp Helf" tour, she instructed her (mostly young, female) audience on how to get a boyfriend by being more Miranda-like.[66][68] "To break up the horrendous musical numbers, Miranda incorporated a series of segments that took the four daily concepts of porn, bullies, love and 'haters' and transformed the subject matter into ... comical banter that relied heavily on audience participation ... she worked off everything the volunteers said and did, improvising and creating punchlines on the spot. ... Ballinger, the genius behind Miranda, is so convincing in the role, you ... will likely forget that there is a normal person behind the red lips".[69][70] Miranda's more risque stage business is performed "in a way that will have parents laughing and children oblivious."[71] "There was some great physical comedy. Miranda's alternative to twerking has to be seen to be believed and her recreation of her own birth ... was a hoot. As she told us, she was always famous, it's just that everyone else knows it now."[72] "But [the show] is deeper than it initially appears. ... She is funny and a strong role model, with a healthy disdain for pop’s oversexualisation. .... The satire is not exactly mindblowing but the message is undeniably positive. Plenty of interaction keeps everyone interested and lends proceedings an inclusive feel ... when there was an appeal for volunteers almost every hand shot straight into the air."[42]

Ballinger gave Miranda shows in 57 cities in her 2014 "Selp Helf" tour.[73] Her spring 2015 tour was styled the "Miranda 4 Precident" [sic] tour; the concept was that Miranda was "born to be President" and was running for election again in 2015 "to help the whole world".[74][75] Her 2015 "Summer Camp" bus tour of the US Midwest and East Coast featured ghost stories, a "bon fire", camp counsellors, merit badges, games and "friendship bracelets ... more of a variety show." It featured members of her family and friends.[76] In September 2015, Miranda was a headliner at the Just for Laughs festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,[77][78] and in December, Ballinger released a film version of one of her stage shows on Vimeo, titled Miranda Sings: Selp Helf.[79]

Reviewing Miranda's second engagement at the LaughFest festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2016,[80] a critic noted that the material "resonated with parents as well as the younger set."[81] Among other appearances, Miranda performed at the Kennedy Center in April 2016[82] and in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in May at the 3rd Annual Wild West Comedy Festival.[83] During the second half of 2016, Ballinger toured Miranda shows in the US, England, Ireland, Germany and Denmark.[84] A US tour in early 2017 and subsequent concerts were billed as "Miranda Sings Live! ... Your [sic] Welcome".[85] The premise was that, finding it unfair that she will not be able to attend her own funeral, Miranda enacts a funeral celebrating her life, career, death and resurrection.[14][86] She continued the tour in September with shows in Europe, Australasia and the US in late 2017 and early 2018.[87] In her 2017–2018 shows, Miranda gave tips on "how to be famous".[88][89] Her tour in mid-2018 was styled Miranda Sings Live ... No Offense, in which she argued that one can say anything, as long as they follow the statement with "no offense".[90]

A Netflix comedy special, Miranda Sings Live... Your Welcome, filmed live at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. in 2018,[91] was released on June 4, 2019.[85][92] Sara Aridi of The New York Times wrote: "Her peculiar sense of humor is the kind that simultaneously draws laughs and cringes – and it works."[93] The same month, Ballinger began touring with her first post-baby Miranda show, "Who Wants My Kid?", in which Miranda tries to find a suitable audience member to take the "brat" she has been complaining about online.[94] This tour continued throughout 2019 and into early 2020.[95]

Haters Back Off[edit]

Main article: Haters Back Off

Miranda is the main character of a Netflix comedy series, Haters Back Off, co-developed by Ballinger (who stars as Miranda) and her brother Christopher Ballinger, about the beginnings of Miranda's career, her family life and her efforts to demonstrate her talents as she seeks fame.[96][97] The series fills out the backstory implied in the Miranda videos, incarnating her spineless mother, Bethany (Angela Kinsey), and her overly devoted uncle Jim (Steve Little). It also introduced Miranda's best friend and neighbor, Patrick (Erik Stocklin), who has a crush on her; her younger sister, Emily (Francesca Reale), the normal family member who is treated as an outsider;[98] and Miranda's estranged father Kelly (Matt Besser).[88] Netflix released the first season in October 2016[96] and the second season in October 2017,[99] after which it cancelled the series.[100][101]

Genesis of the character[edit]

Miranda's creator, Colleen Ballinger, based the character partly on young women that she knew in the performance department of her college, Azusa Pacific University.[11] She told The Times of London, "There were a lot of cocky girls who thought they were really talented, and they ... were so rude and snotty, it drove me nuts. Then I saw all these girls trying to make a career out of putting videos on YouTube [of themselves singing in their bedrooms] ... clueless to the fact that they were terrible."[9][102] Ballinger said: "I thought it was so stupid, because I didn't think anybody got famous off of YouTube."[16] Also, when bored in choir class, Ballinger practiced singing slightly sharp or flat to amuse her friends.[21] At first, the "Miranda videos were meant to be an inside joke" among Ballinger's friends.[103][104] Ballinger's YouTube channel received little traffic for more than a year, but in March 2009, she uploaded a video called "Free Voice Lesson" that quickly became a sensation.[102][105][106] The video consists of advice to use, and demonstrations of, techniques that real voice teachers would warn students to avoid, delivered in Miranda's arrogant, off-key way.[11][16] Miranda's videos drew predictably sharp criticism on YouTube, as many viewers mistakenly believed the character was a real person, a "neo-Florence Foster Jenkins".[107][108] As her videos became popular, Ballinger modified the character in response to the negative comments to make it more extreme, baiting the commenters by adopting the catchphrases "Haters Back Off" and "Haters Make Me Famous".[2][3] "People would make fun of my hair, and I made it worse. ... I took what people hated and exaggerated it more in the next video."[24][109]

Colleen Ballinger, creator and alter egoof Miranda Sings, in 2012

Ballinger was briefly unsure of what to do with her newfound internet success, but in April 2009, Jim Caruso invited her to perform as the character at Cast Party, a weekly show at his Birdland jazz club in New York City. She recalls, "I went from making a minute-and-a-half video in my bedroom to doing an hour-and-a-half live show".[103][107] Members of the Broadway theatre community quickly embraced the Miranda videos and were eager to be a part of Miranda's live comedy acts.[103]Frankie Grande, who was then in the cast of Mamma Mia!, invited Ballinger to join the cast as Miranda at the Minskoff Theatre in the 2009 Broadway CaresEaster Bonnet competition charity benefit.[16][110] Later, Broadway celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda performed in videos with Miranda.[111] Ballinger was also invited to perform in London. At the Leicester Square Theatre in 2010, Miranda taught "voice lessons" to, and performed with, such West End theatre stars as Leanne Jones, Scarlett Strallen, Daniel Boys, Julie Atherton, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Anna-Jane Casey, Jon Lee and Noel Sullivan,[112] and the London casts of Naked Boys Singing, Wicked and Les Misérables.[113] Since the summer of 2009, Miranda Sings has also been featured in radio, television and internet interviews where the interviewers explore the personality traits of, and play along with, the character.[15][114][115]

The Miranda character receives negative comments to her videos from viewers who are fooled by the character and believe that they are watching a serious video by a bad entertainer. Ballinger told Backstage: "It's sort of like an Andy Kaufman thing. You wouldn't believe the hate mail. ... You would never say that stuff to someone's face, but you can type anything online."[1][11]TheaterJones commented that "perhaps because the Internet is some crazy postmodern distortion of reality, people ... felt it was their duty to point out how woefully untalented [Miranda] was, in the most horrific ways. ... Her hate mail, which she reads some of on stage, is an art form all its own."[2][13] Ballinger noted: "The whole reason Miranda went viral is because people were making fun of how stupid it was. If I didn't get hate mail, I wouldn't have a job."[102] The online critics were so harsh that Miranda became a "hero of the anti-bullying movement".[2][116] Her young fans find the character empowering[117] because they see, perhaps selectively, "a conservatively attired girl who does what she likes, gets lots of attention and has bottomless self-esteem."[3][77] Miranda also teaches that "Popular girls don’t have to be stylish. ... Fear no one. ... It's [acceptable for girls] to be cranky."[118] An article at The Conversation observed that some YouTubers "use humour and satire to challenge ideas of popular femininity. ... Miranda Sings... puts on monstrous makeup to perform parody music videos [rejecting] being conventionally pretty."[119] Fans of the character who are studying the performing arts say that Miranda is "a role model and a 'strong woman in comedy'" that inspires confidence in their performance and social skills.[120]

The Times commented, "there is another, sweeter side to her travails. Miranda loves singing and, despite – or perhaps because of – the satire, becomes an evocation of something all humans love to do and have done since before we discovered language. The very act of singing, however dire the sound, makes us feel good."[9] Ballinger noted that the TV show Glee (to which Miranda submitted an "audition" in 2010)[121] is causing a resurgence of interest in singing in schools: "Everyone is talking about Glee and choirs and musical theatre, igniting a flame that has been dimmed for a long time. ... Live performance and musical theatre were almost a lost art ... people need to be reminded that it takes a lot more effort to sing than just watching movies or TV shows." Miranda followed up on this idea, saying: "Since I became so famous ... everyone is watching more music and singing more – because everyone wants to be more like me."[9] As the Miranda character matured, its popularity grew especially with younger audiences of the Glee generation, with most of those attending her concerts being teenagers or in their twenties.[122]

Other activities[edit]

Magic trick: Miranda sings while being stabbed through the neck; this boosts her "self isteam", as noted on the projection behind her.[123]

In 2009, Ballinger released a Christmas EP entitled "Christmas With Miranda Sings".[124] In 2010, she appeared as Miranda at the Nightlife Awards,[125] and Miranda was a presenter at the CYT Directors' Choice Awards in La Mesa, California.[126] Later that year, at the Rose Center Theater, Miranda co-hosted a benefit concert, "Broadway Memories" (which included giving Sutton Foster a "voice lesson"), for the Alzheimer's Association and the Capistrano Center for the Performing Arts.[127] The same year, Miranda appeared in an episode of the web series Apartment Red.[128] From 2010 to 2012, Ballinger posted videos to another YouTube channel, Mirandavlogz, where Miranda vlogged, gave mock-tutorials, offered ridiculous opinions and participated in internet challenges like the cinnamon challenge.[129] Miranda is heard in character on two tracks of the 2011 album Self Taught, Still Learning, by Chris Passey.[130] The character also appeared in a 2012 comedy film, Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads.[131]

Miranda Sings appeared in a Season 3 episode of the Nickelodeon television show Victorious, a one-hour special titled "Tori Goes Platinum", first broadcast on May 19, 2012. In the episode, Miranda is one of the auditioners for an awards show, singing "Freak the Freak Out".[132][133] Also in 2012, she "interviewed" Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy[134] and gave a "master class" at the Boston Children's Theatre.[135][136] The character appeared in episode 6 of Dr. Fubalous, a 2012 web series.[137] Later in 2012 Miranda vlogged that she was running for President of the US to offer an alternative to the candidates nominated by the major parties and offered a brief analysis of the presidential race.[138] In another vlog, she laid out her campaign platform.[139] She appeared in the first episode of Dance Chat in 2013, an Australian web show,[140] and gave a free performance at the Community College of Rhode Island for the Charles Sullivan Fund for the Arts and Humanities.[106] Miranda's commercial video collaborations include a 2014 back-to-school video for Old Navy,[141] her 2016 video, "Sexy Buttery Love Song", for Jack in the Box restaurants[142] and a 2018 Dunkin Donuts promotion.[143]

Miranda guest starred on the season 5 episode, "Happy Thanksgiving Miranda", of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld on the Crackle network in November 2014.[144] Seinfeld called Miranda "a very well-developed character ... just as funny to me as ... to my daughter, who is 13. ... [The episode is] one of the best shows of Comedians in Cars we’ve ever done."[145]Mediaite agreed, writing: "In its fifth season, Jerry Seinfeld's web series continued to be one of the most enjoyable weekly events on the internet. His experience with YouTube star Miranda Sings, which carried its way onto the Tonight Show, was a particular highlight."[146] In December 2014, Miranda appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon playing Pictionary with Jimmy Fallon, Martin Short and Jerry Seinfeld.[147]Us Weekly called the segment "the most hilarious game night ever".[148]Entertainment Weekly called it "a riveting game",[149] and People magazine wrote: "It's the most wonderful trainwrecked game of Pictionary you'll see this holiday season".[150] In early 2015, she appeared in a music video for Lance Bass[151] and on The Grace Helbig Show with Jim Parsons.[152] Miranda was profiled in People magazine in June 2015.[153] In June and July, Miranda and Ballinger (as herself) both starred in a six-episode beauty series parody, called How to Makeup, on the I Love Makeup YouTube channel operated by Collective Digital Studio.[154]

In July 2015, "Miranda" released a book, Selp-Helf, published by Simon & Schuster, which calls it a "decidedly unhelpful, candid, hilarious 'how-to' guide". It contains 240 pages, in mock-scrapbook format, of photos and extensive artwork by Ballinger and her brother Christopher Ballinger, with Miranda's silly advice about such topics as love, finances, diet and exercise, and fashion.[10][155] During pre-sales, Vanity Fair called Miranda "America's Newest Best-Selling Author".[156] The book debuted at No. 1 on the Publishers Weekly Hardcover Non-Fiction best sellers list[157] and The New York Times Best Seller list for Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous.[4] It remained on the Times' Best Seller list for "Advice & Misc." for 11 weeks[158] and was on their monthly Best Seller list for "Humor" through May 2016.[159] Miranda released a hidden object game app, made by Games2win, called Miranda Sings vs Haters that was well reviewed and "topped iTunes USA charts in the week of December 3, [2015]".[160] Ballinger appeared as Miranda as a guest star on the 2016 YouTube Red series Prank Academy.[161] In 2016, Ballinger released a second Miranda Christmas EP, titled Hapy Holidays frum Miranda Sings.[162] She released a second Miranda book in July 2018 titled My Diarrhe.[163] It debuted at No. 8 on The New York Times Best Seller list for Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous.[164]


Since early 2009, Ballinger's character has enjoyed widespread popularity, especially (initially) among musical theatre fans.[8][24][165] Later, her fan base expanded particularly among teenagers.[38][64] Her live comedy acts have been in demand at cabaret clubs and theaters in New York (Birdland Jazz Club, Best Buy Theater),[66][166] London (Ambassadors Theatre; Leicester Square Theatre),[64][167] Australia[65] and elsewhere throughout North America, in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia, at venues where her mostly teenage fans, who call themselves "Mirfandas", are admitted.[3][38][168]

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times wrote of her videos, "this footage is a major hoot",[8] and described Ballinger as an "Internet Superstar."[169]The Times of London commented that although Miranda's videos have made her "a darling of the Broadway musical-theatre scene ... [it] is not online but on stage that Miranda truly comes to ghastly life."[9] In 2010, a BroadwayWorld review of Miranda's live comedy act said that Ballinger's "'Miranda Sings' persona is a very unique and original concept devised by a very creative imagination. ... Miranda is not to be missed. [As] the old saying goes, it takes talent to be that bad".[48] Another commentator wrote similarly: "It's so awful, it's brilliant."[170]Woman Around Town called Miranda "an atrocious, comedic masterpiece."[171]Perez Hilton praised Miranda's parody of the hit song "Chandelier" as "the crowning achievement of music video parodies ... utterly fantastic".[172]TheaterJones noted that Ballinger: "has hit on a character that reflects the zeitgeist of our time and does it with tongue firmly planted in cheek."[2] In 2015, Playbill concluded: "Miranda Sings is a huge talent. With very demonstrative facial expressions, a unique take on makeup and wardrobe and her almost unbelievable vocal stylings, she cuts an undeniable figure in the world of online music video."[173]The Guardian characterized Miranda's channel as "so bad it's great".[174] Miranda has been compared with such absurd comic creations as Roseanne Roseannadanna and Andy Kaufman's characters,[103][175][176]Kimmy Schmidt, "a distaff Napoleon Dynamite"[177] and Pee-wee Herman.[178]

In each of 2014 and 2015, Ballinger was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for "Web Star: Comedy" for her Miranda videos, winning the award in 2015.[5][179] She was nominated for three 2015 Streamy Awards, winning one for best actress.[6][180] She was also nominated for a 2015 People's Choice Award[181] and a 2016 Shorty Award.[182] She was nominated for a 2016 Streamy Award.[183] A 2013 BroadwayWorld feature commented, "While [Miranda's] singing might not be anywhere near pitch-perfect, the character's comedic lampooning of self-aggrandizing divas surely is. ... [O]nly a truly talented performer could make the Miranda character believable, let alone as endearing as she ends up being."[184] stated: "Miranda ... creates the most successful parody of the world of YouTube ... she has created an international cult following".[185]Real Detroit Weekly calls the character "delightfully hilarious".[186] A reviewer from the Irish Independent wrote: "There is an endearing sweetness to her performance. ... This bizarre and bonkers show is somehow strangely compelling".[187]The New York Times' review of Selp-Helf commented that Miranda's success stems from "milking the disconnect between her supreme confidence and her hopeless lack of ability ... endearing incompetence".[188] One of the top 10 most-Googled fashion questions of 2015 was "How to dress up like Miranda Sings".[189] Ballinger's success has, paradoxically, realized Miranda's supposedly misguided dreams.[106]TV Guide commented: "Ironically, the character ... was created to satirize the very type of YouTube fame she's managed to cultivate."[190]Newsweek's review of Miranda's YouTube satire of the 2019 James Charles/Tati Westbrook feud noted that although the character "rarely humanizes herself", she has the surprising ability to "make our heart hurt".[191]

The Miranda Sings YouTube channel has received more than 2 billion views and has more than 10 million subscribers.[7] In 2014, it was ranked No. 38 on New Media Rockstars' Top 100 Channels of All Time list,[192] and in 2015, Miranda was listed as the 7th "most popular YouTube personality" by Daily American.[193] Miranda was ranked No. 5 on Forbes magazine's 2017 list of top entertainment influencers.[194] The most popular Miranda video, a parody cover of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", received more than 55 million views on YouTube in 2016 before the site removed it.[195] Nine more of her videos have surpassed 20 million views, more than 35 of her videos have received over 10 million views, over 100 of her videos have received more than 5 million views, and more than 200 Miranda videos have received over 3 million views.[196] The character also has more than 12 million followers on TikTok, 6 million followers on Instagram, 2.2 million followers on Twitter, and 1.6 million page likes on Facebook.[197]BuzzFeed called her "The Queen of Twitter".[198]


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  2. ^ abcdefghNoteboom, Kris. "BooTube", TheaterJones, March 5, 2012
  3. ^ abcdefKeihm, Moira. "YouTube Personality Miranda Sings: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know",, January 17, 2016
  4. ^ ab"Best Sellers: Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous", The New York Times, August 9, 2015 (sales for the week ending July 25, 2015)
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  8. ^ abcNg, David. "YouTube sensation Miranda seduces Broadway", Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2009
  9. ^ abcdefgEggar, Robin. "She'd like to teach the world to sing". The Times, May 2, 2010, accessed March 6, 2012
  10. ^ abSeabaugh, Julie. "The Woman Behind Miranda, One of the Strangest and Most Beloved Characters on YouTube". LA Weekly, July 23, 2015
  11. ^ abcdefVelasco, Schuyler. "Interview: Miranda Sings", Backstage, August 3, 2010
  12. ^Loftus, Jamie. "Miranda Sings Is the Ultimate Expression of Ironic Teenagers",, November 2, 2016
  13. ^ abcCollier, Cody. "YouTube Gives Fame to Miranda Sings", Guardian Liberty Voice, Clark County, Nevada, June 29, 2014
  14. ^ abSarinana, Leslie. "'Miranda Sings' is back … you’re welcome", The Prospector, January 17, 2017
  15. ^ ab"Stage Tube: 'Miranda Sings' Visits Clevver TV", Broadway World, November 4, 2009
  16. ^ abcdBallinger, Colleen. "Miranda Sings at the Lobero in Santa Barbara"Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine,, January 10, 2014
  17. ^ abSiegel, Ben. "Miranda shows that she’s very good at being bad", The Buffalo News, May 6, 2014
  18. ^Bassett, Jordan. "Who Is Miranda Sings? Nine Things You Should Know About the Youtuber Who's Coming to Netflix", NME, January 18, 2016
  19. ^Lloyd, Robert. "Haters Back Off offers the funny origin story of Miranda Sings", Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2016
  20. ^"Miranda Sings! at Birdland",, February 4, 2010
  21. ^ abRivera, Erica. "'The haters' defined YouTube sensation Miranda Sings", City Pages, August 4, 2015
  22. ^Video of Miranda scat singing in "Favorite Things",, May 2009
  23. ^"Music/Cabaret Miranda Sings", San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2009; Bond, Nick. "Haters Back Off – Miranda's Coming", Star Observer, October 30, 2013
  24. ^ abcLiberty, John. "YouTube star Miranda Sings to make Michigan debut, readies for haters", Kalamazoo Gazette,, December 1, 2011
  25. ^"The Gay Test: Miranda Sings", TheGayUK, August 17, 2012, accessed December 9, 2013
  26. ^Walgrove, Amanda. "Miranda Sings Covers “Starships,” Performs Magic and Introduces MirandaCon at VidCon 2013"Archived 2013-10-30 at the Wayback Machine,, August 5, 2013
  27. ^Examples include "Teaching Miranda How to Make Slime" and "Teaching Miranda How to Twerk", Its JoJo Siwa; "How to Stop Parents from Comparing Kids (ft. Miranda Sings)", Superwoman; "I Dare You (ft. Miranda Sings)", Nigahiga; "7 Second Challenge With Miranda Sings | Zoella", Zoella; "Mini Miranda Meets Miranda Sings", Eh Bee Family; "Cutting Open Stress Balls w/ Miranda Sings", Joey Graceffa; and "The Photobooth Challenge (ft. MirandaSings)", Tyler Oakley, all accessed July 22, 2019
  28. ^Gavilanes, Grace. "Tyler Oakley and Bethany Mota Become Miranda Sings in the Most Epic Makeover Video Ever", People magazine, August 27, 2015
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