- The Tiger King docuseries has many, many wild aspects to it.
- The series also included a look at Joe Exotic's music videos.
- But it turns out that there's more to Joe's music career than his fans suspected.
One of the most surprising things about the Tiger King documentary (besides the murder-for-hire plot, the woman who might have killed her husband, and the probable cult leader), is the intensity and passion that Joe Exotic poured into his music career. Even though he was already busy with his zoo and a presidential campaign, Joe also found the time to become a country singer.
With songs like "Kitty Kitty" and "I Saw a Tiger," Joe might have had a legitimate career as a singer if he hadn't been sentenced to prison. Viewers have also noticed Joe's impressive singing chops, and they've shared appreciation for his music online:
Bro the fact that Tiger King is real and all this shit actually happened is insane...I must say though Joe Exotic produced some BOPS and the cinematography in his music videos is unmatched pic.twitter.com/HpYJ2MExtI— Maddy Pakka (@maddypakka) March 26, 2020
However, some people close to Joe have shed some light on his music, and it turns out that the big cat owner might have not been a real country singer.
Was Joe Exotic a real country singer?
I'm sorry to tell you, but no, Joe Exotic was not really singing his country tunes. As Vanity Fair reports, musicians Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton are responsible for the bops, and they had no idea that Joe was going to use their voices in the song. Johnson and Clinton explained that they were contacted by Joe to write some country songs for him, and they agreed to do it for free in exchange for exposure from Joe's prospective reality show. Robert Moor, an author and creator of the Joe Exotic podcast also clarified that Joe only "sang softly over the top of the vocal track."
However, the duo were shocked at the finished outcome. "I had no idea he was going to Milli Vanilli the songs. It was a couple of months and two or three songs [into the collaboration] when I was on YouTube one night and just happened to look up Joe Exotic," Johnson revealed. "And there he was, lip-syncing and acting like the ghost of Elvis [in these music videos]. I called him up, I was hot…And he bamboozled me about his reality show—that it was coming soon and he would make everything right as rain. I just wanted the proper credit."
And while Joe could have just leaned into his role as the face of his music, members of Joe's staff said that he would go to to extraordinary lengths to convince them that he really was a singer. Mateusz Gugałka produced some of Joe’s music videos, and said Joe once told staffers that he had spent the weekend recording a new song in Dallas, when he had actually been at home in Oklahoma.
Producer Rick Kirkham also explained how Joe's lipsyncing career became an open secret: "It was absolutely ridiculous. One time, Joe got a little bit drunk and high, and we actually coaxed him into singing part of one of the songs. He couldn’t even hold a tune...It was a big joke within the crew and staff that it wasn’t him [singing in the videos]—but he was damned insistent to anyone and everyone, including us and my studio crew, that that was him."
And while it's a little disappointing to know that Joe wasn't really singing in his music videos, we can't deny the charm and catchiness of his songs. And if you're already tired of your quarantine playlist, you can listen to Joe's best hits below:
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