What happened to pop stars that can actually sing?

While watching the Top 40 music show on C4 last night I got increasingly annoyed seeing the junk that makes up our top music in New Zealand at the moment.  Out of the top five I don’t think there was one artist who could actually sing in their own right without their voice being altered digitally.  Maybe I’m just getting old but I don’t actually like it at all and I wonder whether it would be cheaper for record companies to ‘build’ their own pop star on a computer.  Take Britney Spears for example.  She was booed off the stage at several of her recent Australian concerts because she was quite clearly lip-syncing to pre-recorded music.  It seems to be mainly R&B artists who use it and you’ve got to wonder if they’re actually just a pretty face with no musical talent.

I saw an interesting piece on 3 News last week that was talking about the software that pop artists use to alter their voices, called Aut0-Tune.  It’s a computer programme that can perfect your pitch and smooth over any off-notes, similar to the Photoshop programme that can perfect images.  According to this article there are three brothers in Brooklyn who have created songs out of news items.  They call it Auto-Tune the News and take particular news reports and use the Auto-Tune programme to alter voices and make it into a song, adding themselves into the news as well.

I’m pretty sure most of my favourite artists/groups such as James Taylor, The Killers, James Morrison, and Dave Dobbyn don’t use the technology.  Who are your favourite, naturally talented musicians?