Kanye West Thanked Cher For Making The World Safe For Auto-Tune

Carl Williott | May 6, 2015 10:34 am
MNEK Covers Cher's "Believe"
Hear the soulful garage cover.

Everyone has already pored over (and memed) the outfits from the 2015 Met Gala, but there are still some morsels of news to be devoured from the fashion ball. For instance, yesterday Cher revealed to fans that during her encounter with Kimye at the event, Kanye West personally thanked her for Auto-Tune.

So, not only did Cher’s 1974 Met Gala gown inspire Kim Kardashian, but her 1998 song “Believe” is to blame for the latter half of Kanye’s career.

“Believe” was the first prominent pop song to employ the new Auto-Tune technology. Vocal manipulation techniques had been used for decades in music by then, but that song was polarizing for utilizing such technology as a stylistic tool rather than a discreet corrective. In the decade that followed, Auto-Tune would become a key instrument in pop music, and it permeated every aspect of Kanye West’s most divisive release, 808s & Heartbreak. Auto-Tune has served as a central piece of West’s vocals since that 2009 album, up to and including his latest era with “Only One.” So it’s completely reasonable that he was influenced by that exact piece of Cher’s catalog and felt the need to thank her.

But one person who might feel slighted from this show of gratitude? T-Pain, whose pioneering use of Auto-Tune in the hip-hop/R&B realm led West to consult with him during the recording of 808s. The two artists ultimately had a falling out, so T-Pain didn’t appear on the album’s credits, and his relationship with Ye remains strained to this day.

[via Hot New Hip-Hop]