It's been a wild few days for fans of the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King. While there are a lot of plot points to make you pause, one of the most light-hearted ones is Joseph Maldonado-Passage's (famously known as "Joe Exotic") bizarre music videos. With each strum of his guitar, many viewers can't help but wonder: Does Joe Exotic actually sing in Tiger King?
I hate to be the person to shatter your illusions of Mr. Exotic, but it turns out, his music career, as well as his angelic voice, might not be what they seem. Apparently, the real artists behind the hit songs are Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton, who made up The Clinton Johnson Band.
According to Vanity Fair, Exotic approached the The Clinton Johnson Band about making music in exchange for exposure on his reality show. The big cat owner would give them a topic, and they'd create a custom song, including the infamous "Here Kitty Kitty" released in 2015, within two weeks.
It wasn't until a few months into their collaboration that Johnson came across Exotic's music videos and he realized Exotic was pretending to be the singer of his songs. "I was on YouTube one night and just happened to look up Joe Exotic," Johnson told Vanity Fair. "And there he was, lip-syncing and acting like the ghost of Elvis."
After confronting Joe about the farce, the Tiger King reportedly convinced the duo they'd get credit once the reality show aired. Unfortunately, the show never came to fruition.
Robert Moor, the creator of Wondery's podcast about Joe Exotic backed up this story on Twitter, writing that Exotic simply sang softly over the tracks recorded by The Clinton Johnson Band.
Not only did Exotic reportedly pass the songs and vocals off as his own, but according to Romeo Dupuy, a producer who worked with Joe, he couldn't play the guitar either. "When we shot him playing these songs, he would be behind grass to cover up his hands," Dupuy said to Vanity Fair.
Exotic's apparent lack of musical talent isn't the most shocking thing about Joe Exotic in Tiger King — I mean, his speaking voice sounds noting like the deep, smooth singing voice in I Saw A Tiger — but it is wild how the twists from the most exciting docuseries in 2020 just keep coming.