Could You Spot An Impostor Pretending To Be Your Favorite Artist?

Could you spot a fake Beyonce, Migos, or Drake? How could you tell the difference between a fake superstar and the real deal Holyfield?

As recently as 2016, folks were trying to figure out if Gucci Mane had a clone. Even some celebs didn’t seem sure.

Back in the 1960s, big-name talents were routinely impersonated by unknowns who were looking for a quick come-up by cashing in on the fame and notoriety of superstars.

That was way before the Internet and 24 hour televised news.

But folks often got away with doing it.

Back then, Black artists had hardly no power when it came to White artists stealing their music and recording it as their own (Elvis); those same Black artists also had little power to stop someone from impersonating them and pocketing show money for it either.

Case in point: Vicki Jones, a Virginia woman with a big ole gospel voice who many said sounded just like Aretha Franklin, allegedly took part in a 1969 conspiracy with an unscrupulous promoter where she was enlisted to perform a series of concerts pretending to be the Queen of Soul.

It worked. Some paying concertgoers had doubts about Jones but she sounded enough like Aretha to make the scam work.

Jones was ultimately caught and briefly sent to jail.

She rebounded though and found some success under her real identity and never impersonated Aretha again.

And James Brown is said to have taken the stage as Little Richard but the crowd figured out he was a phony. 

Today, its likely that the prominence that social media plays in our daily lives makes it extremely difficult for artists to get falsely impersonated: unlike the 1960s, a fan knows almost as much about the artist as his or her own self, and is aware of their every move–thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

And with plenty of pics being shared every minute on social media, fans know EXACTLY how their faves look, and where they may or may not be performing because that info is now just a key stroke or phone tap away.

But even with that info being widely available, rapper Desiigner was able to fool a lot of rap fans into thinking his “Panda” was the latest Future hit.

So all this makes you wonder, is it really impossible for an artist to be impersonated by someone else and actually get over doing it in 2018?


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