NFL Under Fire Over Edited Alicia Keys Video From Super Bowl Halftime Performance

The NFL has allegedly edited a video of Alicia Keys singing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show to erase a voice crack that occurred in her opening note of “If I Ain’t Got You.” Twitter/X user Robert Komaniecki posted the original performance video next to the edited video on the NFL’s official YouTube channel to compare.

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“Last night [February 11] Alicia Keys’s voice cracked (first video), and fascinatingly, the official NFL YouTube channel appears to be attempting to erase that little moment, having edited it out in their upload (second video),” Komaniecki wrote on Twitter.

The second video does indeed seem to be edited, as there is a noticeable crack in Keys’ voice when she begins to sing in the first video. The YouTube video has no such vocal crack.

Komaniecki shared thoughts about the edit, writing in the comments, “Personally this kinda grinds my gears because part of what makes live singing commendable is that mistakes may happen, and you’re vulnerable. I wonder if she or her team was consulted for this edit, my guess is probably not based on the fast turnaround, but who knows.”

One fan added, “I didn’t know The N.F.L was into Dubbing Vocals chileeee.” Another X user claimed “I feel like this is erasing history.”

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind “My Boo” by Usher and Alicia Keys]

NFL Appears to Completely Erase Alicia Keys’ Vocal Mishap in YouTube Video, While Twitter User Brings Attention to the Vulnerability of Live Performing

Other Twitter/X users replied to the initial tweet, sharing more insights into how sensitive and complex live performing can be. M. Brandon Lee of This Is Tech Today wrote, “Live events like that have mixing engineers for the stadium and one for broadcast. They almost always record a multi-track of the recording for archival reasons and situations like this. Musicians often have their own producers or someone representing them in the broadcast truck and at the in-stadium mixing board to give guidance.”

Lee continued, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the producer/manager/whatever asked for this to be fixed in the replay. Fixing it doesn’t take long. A simple auto-tune to a short spot. Probably fixed it in less time than making a cup of coffee.”

Another user replied, “It’s MORE impressive because she recovered from uneven phonation (crack) lower in her range and adjusted within the phrase to arrive higher in tune. We need to better the awareness of how hard singing is.”

Others commended the NFL for allowing Alicia Keys to regain some control over how her performance was represented on the internet. Additional comments praised Keys for correcting her mistake in real time and adjusting so quickly. Many heaped compliments on Usher and Keys for actually singing live instead of lip-syncing.

Still, there were some replies that criticized the NFL for editing the performance, claiming that in the age of AI there should be room for honest, human mistakes. One user brought attention to the songwriting of “If I Ain’t Got You,” agreeing with the original tweet then writing, “The lyrics are also about showing vulnerability.”

Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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