Ashlee was caught lip syncing when the drummer accidentally cued the wrong vocal track for her second song. Ashlee, not knowing what to do, danced around for a while, then walked off the stage (on live TV).
Soon afterwards the excuses began to mount. The band played the wrong song. She had acid reflux and couldn't sing. Aliens stole her vocal chords.
I'm not exactly sure what has caused such outrage over this. Folks have known for years that Britney Spears lip syncs at her concerts and hasn't been able to sing worth a damn since hitting puberty. Of course, I think her career, finally, is in serious decline. There are a hefty number of pop artists out there, past and present, who can't sing worth a crap either - most of the Spice Girls, for example. Lots and lots of voice "massaging" going on in the studio.
I think a huge part of the problem, in line with something David Crosby said, is that MTV and VH1 have turned the music industry into something that hinges more on looks than talent. Not that this was an entirely new phenomenon - consider The Monkees, for example. Usually, however, the kids leading these prefab bands could actually sing. Oh, maybe they didn't have the range of Roy Orbison (does anyone?), but they could sing.
But in the last 10 years or so the recording industry has jumped the shark, picking up good looking kids to lead their label who CAN'T SING AT ALL.
And so, myself and many others, I suspect, have started to turn elsewhere for our musical selection. Personally, I've been getting into trance, as well as picking up "best of" albums from classic artists like the Stones, Elton John. Even some of my "new" stuff is older artists releasing new material, like Santana. I've also gotten much more into online stations like di.fm.
Well, anyway, maybe the Ashlee Simpson "episode" will teach the recording industry a thing or two about what we're willing to put up with. Then again, maybe they'll just keep pumping out the same old crap.