Cher may have been the first artist to put Auto-Tune to the forefront of a pop song with her 1998 single, “Believe,” but its resulting baggage in today's music scene can be pinned on one man: T-Pain. With his weirdly robotic vocal filter, the former apprentice of Akon (for better or worse) established one of the defining sounds of the past 10 years. While many artists have embraced the technology (Kayne West and his album “808s & Heartbreak”), others dismiss it as a novelty or fad — see Jay-Z and his song “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).” However listeners feel about the merits of Auto-Tune, T-Pain's gimmick entertainment is certainly entertaining. Performing alongside the likes of Keri Hilson, Trey Songz, Mario and Ryan Leslie, and Chris Brown to raise money for the American Red Cross, T-Pain plays Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center on Saturday, May 15, at 7 p.m.
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