February 21, 2018 / 12:32 PM

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T-Pain Performs Without Auto-Tune Again for NPR Tiny Desk Concert, Covers Sam Cooke

 

A year ago T-Pain took to NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series and shocked the world when we discovered he could actually sing beautifully without his usual heavy use of Auto-Tune. Now, he's back at it again performing songs from his catalog and covering Sam Cooke.

NPR once again invited the R&B singer back for the one-year anniversary of its most successful video in the series ever, racking up more than 8 million views on YouTube. The first time around T-Pain was much more timid for his sans-Auto-Tune debut, joking that he was hiding it in his pocket or had it surgically installed.

He was joined once again by his keyboardist, but for the second performance brought along three backup singers including his wife and a bassist, adding some depth while keeping the stripped down feel. There was no shyness this time around as he launched right into a soulful rendition of his Epiphany track "Tipsy."

T-Pain even debuted a brand new song titled "Officially Yours," off his forthcoming album Stoicville: The Phoenix, which is set to drop Friday. The album is his fifth release on RCA Records and will highlight his gorgeous voice, released from the at-times shackling devices of auto tune, which built his career and influenced others such as Kanye West and his seminal 808s and Heartbreaks.

Like his Dodger's National Anthem performance, he dominated the stage using the spaces in his music effectively to build the mood, especially on his cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." His stripped down bass and piano rendition of this civil rights song is the perfect cover to give T-Pain a little more recognition as a serious vocal performer. He knocks it out of the park running vocal lines up and down the final chorus for an emotional ending.

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