Joe Exotic Doesn't Sing His Own Songs, Faked Entire Music Career

If you've seen Tiger King already — which naturally, I assume you have — then you probably remember seeing clips of his music videos.

If you're anything like me, your initial reaction was "there's no way that's his real voice", and you'd be right!

Along with the countless of other bizarre things Joe Exotic did, he also lip-synced his entire "music career" to someone else's voice.

It seems like this global quarantine's only saving grace has been the work of a completely unstable, gun-toting, mullet-sporting, drug-addicted zoo keeper who goes by the name Joe Exotic.

There's a sentence I never thought I'd say...?

The documentary, "Tiger King" has swept the nation, conveniently when we're all stuck at home watching, literally, anything on Netflix.

The Big Lead

While it was shocking, confusing, and deeply concerning, it has also become the punchline of nearly every meme I've come across in the last week.

But one thing that has particularly stood out to everyone who has seen it, is how unexpectedly enjoyable Joe's singing was.

Over the course of his bizarre zoo-keeping career, he seemingly also had a passion for music.

Throughout the series, clips of Joe's music videos were played — they even showed him "singing" at Travis' funeral.


While there was always the possibility that Joe had an incredibly soulful, country voice, I assumed that there was a fairly good chance that he was using a voice double.

I also have to mention that those music videos triggered extreme secondhand embarrassment. I don't think in my entire life I have ever seen anything more unbearable.

And having to relive it right now as I write this is equally painful.

Anyway, there were a few indicators that it wasn't actually him singing. The main one being that it sounded absolutely nothing like his speaking voice.


There was a dramatic contrast between his so-called singing voice and his speaking voice.

But nonetheless, it has come as a surprise to some people that Joe faked his entire music career, lip syncing to somebody else's voice.


That's an excellent question and one that I asked myself frequently throughout watching Tiger King.

Vanity Fair recently reported that there were actually two men behind Joe Exotic's music.

YouTube | JoeExoticTV

Vince Johnson and vocalist, Danny Clinton, who make up The Clinton Johnson Band.

According to TMZ, Danny, unfortunately, passed away in October.

In an interview with Vince and Rick Kirkham (the producer of Joe's failed reality show), they revealed that Joe, as expected, had zero musical talent.

YouTube | JoeExoticTV

"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," Rick said.

"It was just so ludicrous. It was a big joke within the crew and staff that it wasn’t him [singing in the videos]".

YouTube |

"But he was damned insistent to anyone and everyone, including us and my studio crew, that that was him.”

Romeo Dupuy, a producer who found Joe via Craigslist, also revealed why everytime Joe is seen "playing" guitar, he was often covered by long grass.

YouTube | JoeExoticTV

It was because he couldn't actually play the guitar either.

“He couldn’t even play the guitar. So we would pose him," Romeo said.

YouTube |

"When we shot him playing these songs, he would be behind grass to cover up his hands. Then he’d lip-sync.”

Vince also revealed that neither him or Danny knew that Joe was going to impersonate them.

YouTube |

They initially only agreed to the project because they thought it was going to be apart of the reality show's soundtrack — hoping it would give them exposure.

"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," Vince explained.

"And there he was, lip-syncing and acting like the ghost of Elvis [in these music videos]."

"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," he added.

They ultimately went along with it, hoping that the reality show would take off and they would finally receive their earnings. But it was only ever used for Joe's YouTube channel.

Hopefully, now, Vince gets the credit he deserves.