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Viewer Gender Confusion / Music

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  • Victoria Lengrand from Beach House has been mistaken for a man on multiple occasions due to the tone of her voice.
  • Taylor Hanson from the teen pop group Hanson: ambiguously pitched voice, long hair, and gender-neutral name.
  • Kalan Porter from Canadian Idol definitely confused many people.
  • Pick a J-rock band. Particularly male jrockers that dress in Goth Loli, like Mana. (Of course, young Japanese men tend to look androgynous to gaijin anyway.)
  • Pick any J-Pop boy band, especially those under Johnny's Jimusho. Those guys make prettier girls than most of their fans.
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    • One such example: ChinenYuuri.
    • Tegoshi Yuya.
  • Visual Kei musicians can easily cause this problem, as a common theme amoungst the bands is to highlight their feminine sides or just full-on crossdress like Hizaki from Versailles.
  • Back when the Culture Club was all new, a good few people assumed Boy George was female.
  • Similarly, during one of the episodes of I Love the 80's, when discussing the Dead or Alive video "You Spin Me Round", one of the commentators said that growing up he thought Pete Burns was either the prettiest man or the ugliest woman he'd ever seen. Ironic, given how after too manynote  plastic surgeries, Pete Burns did look exactly like a woman...
  • Bill Kaulitz of Tokio Hotel is this trope personified.
  • Many were surprised to find out that Noodle of Gorillaz was a girl. Much less once she started being depicted as a teenager who sometimes sports makeup and more feminine clothing, though she still leaves a few confused. Less so in Phase 3, where she has some very feminine characteristics.
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  • Jody "I'm not a girl" McBrayer fits this trope nicely. He most definitely looks masculine, but if you don't know who's singing... Well, just listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb8kgaa3Xsg
  • Tracy Chapman. Judging by her voice, rather muscular physique, and most pictures, it can be pretty tricky to tell. Her gender-neutral name (although it's usually female nowadays) doesn't help.
  • The lead singer of Placebo, Brian Molko, has confused many with his highly androgynous appearance. Pictures like this definitely do not help.
  • An anecdote from the early days of ABBA relates how Bjorn Ulvaeus initially got a number of letters from fans who thought he was female. The explanation he gave was that the letters had come from Eastern European countries, where photo quality broke down through multiple copying, leaving his defining characteristics as his androgynous clothing and long hair. But it probably didn't help that he dressed more effeminately than Benny usually did, either...
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  • Marilyn Manson: This trope is actually one of his trademarks. (Ironically, he copied Alice Cooper, who was always definitely male despite his stage name.)
  • Amber from the Korean pop band f(x) to the point where her group members even thought she was a boy at first. It doesn't help that she's "pretty" enough to look like most male pop stars or that SM Entertainment always puts her in masculine clothing, such as a boy's school uniform or a male hanbok.
  • Michael Jagmin of A Skylit Drive tends to have this effect on people: long hair, girly voice, short stature.
  • Japanese goth/electronic/visual kei/oh who knows vocalist Selia (one half of Seileen, along with DJ Sisen) falls into this all too easily. He looks like a woman, but in Japanese music this isn't anything new. No, the real confusion comes when he starts singing.
  • The same goes for Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow, who's death vocals cause many to mistake her for a man at first listen.
  • The Silversun Pickups's lead vocalist Brian Aubert has a somewhat effeminate voice when singing, leading to some confusion—especially since even when you know he is a guy he looks nothing like you'd expect for a guy with that singing voice. His speaking voice is unquestionably male, though.
  • Justin Bieber. He's made his career over the fact that he's a teenage boy whose voice hasn't cracked, so this is a given. If you just listen to his music and don't know his name, you might think he's a lesbian. The amount of confusion has become memetic due to his Hatedom. He has gotten better, though not by much.
  • If you're over 30, you've probably heard the theme song to The Never Ending Story, sung by Limahl. Even if you knew the (seemingly gender neutral, in fact seemingly made up) name of the singer, it's very likely you assumed he was a woman. Even watching the video doesn't help. He looks like a guy but sounds so much like a woman that you assume he's lip-synching. Seriously, listen to the song and try to find anything masculine about that voice.
  • There are a lot of K-Pop idols that fall under this. Super Junior's Heechul and Shinee's Taemin are two of the worst offenders. Even the more masculine ones are prone to this... Shinee's Minho was once mistaken for a labelmate's girlfriend.
  • JD Samson of Le Tigre. An out lesbian who identifies as female, she nonetheless uses a very macho variation of her given name (Jocelyn Samson), dresses in traditional male clothes, maintains an extremely masculine appearance, and proudly sports close-cropped hair and a robust natural mustache. Even when you know she's a gal, seeing pictures like these makes it pretty tough to grasp.
  • Shelly West (daughter of Dottie West) has a rather low, rough voice for a woman, particularly on her Signature Song "José Cuervo". If you didn't know the artist's name, you'd certainly be forgiven for thinking a man sang that song.
    • Dottie had a fairly husky voice as well.
  • Ryan Ross, especially in the early years of Panic! at the Disco.
  • Rocker Aldo Nova's voice can easily be mistaken for a woman's in his hit single "Fantasy."
  • Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie) had a high-pitched voice that could sound a bit womanly at times, which combined with his boyish face probably threw some people off (that might explain why he had a mustache for a while).
  • Sigh's Dr. Mikannibal's screams are frequently lower-pitched than those of the band's male vocalist, Mirai Kawashima. Listeners often have difficulty telling them apart. Female Black Metal vocalists get this a lot; Kriegtalith of Darkestrah and both vocalists of Astarte (Tristessa and Kinthia) both were subject to it as well.
  • Some people though there were female vocals on Alcest's EP Le secret, but frontman Neige performed all of them himself.
  • When The Beatles redefined pop music, other bands (and teenagers who could get away with it) started growing their hair long, starting a lot of consternation over gender appearance norms. One band, The Barbarians, with the longest hair around ca. 1965, had a record "Are You a Boy or a Girl?"
  • Cherry from Studio Killers is a fictional female character voiced by a man. This confuses new fans considerably.
  • The singer of the band Rough Trade is a Butch Lesbian with a very deep voice. Their most famous song, "High School Confidential", is about the narrator's Perverse Sexual Lust over a hot, bitchy blonde (who is the Alpha Bitch), so it's pretty common to mistake the singer for a man.
  • Jaymes Young is male however many mistake his voice for female.
  • Imogen Heap has a somewhat androgynous singing voice which has caused some people not familiar with her to mistake her for male.
  • Suzanne Vega's song "Luka" is about a little boy with Abusive Parents. However, Luka can be a Gender-Blender Name and Suzanne is female, so many people think the song is about a woman with an abusive lover.
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