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‘Masked Singer’ Winner T-Pain Says He Suffered From Depression Over Auto-Tune Criticism

T-Pain and UsherGeorge Pimentel/Jemal Countess/GettyImages

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Rapper T-Pain surprised viewers when he won the first season of The Masked Singer in 2019. Fans were used to hearing the artist with Auto-Tune, but it turns out he has a great voice without it.

T-Pain recently shared that criticism about his use of Auto-Tune, particularly from fellow musician Usher, affected him deeply in the past. He said he suffered from depression over the comments.

T-Pain Suffered Depression After Usher’s Auto-Tune Comment

In a clip from the Netflix series This Is Pop, T-Pain shared that Usher once told him he “f‑‑‑ed up music” by using Auto-Tune in his songs. T-Pain said he gave a “nervous chuckle” in response, adding that he “didn’t understand.”

“I used it. I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it,” T-Pain said about his choice to use Auto-Tune, adding of his reaction to Usher’s comment, “That’s the very moment that started, like, a four-year depression for me.”



Usher, who was previously a coach on The Voice, has not responded to T-Pain’s newly released comments. The singer has expressed his dislike for Auto-Tune in the past, telling BBC Radio in 2015 that the technology had removed a “unique element to who we are” as artists.

T-Pain’s interview will be included in This Is Pop, an eight-part series also featuring Shania Twain, Brandi Carlile, the Backstreet Boys, and more. It will be released on Netflix June 22.

The Artist Showed Off His Talent on ‘The Masked Singer’

No one was more surprised by T-Pain’s Masked Singer success than the rapper himself. After winning the show in 2019, he told Ellen DeGeneres that he expected to be eliminated in the first episode. He added that he thought he had a “real distinct voice.”

However, the judges never figured out it was him, most likely because they weren’t used to hearing him without Auto-Tune. During his time on the show, he delivered impressive performances of songs like “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.

Upon winning the show, T-Pain released a surprise new album called 1UP, and later hosted the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

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