A backing vocalist or backing singer (or, especially in the U.S., backup singer or sometimes background singer) is a singer who provides vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists. In some cases, a backing singer may sing alone as a lead-in to the main vocalist's entry. While some bands use backup singers who only sing when they are onstage, it is common for backup singers to have other roles. In many rock and metal bands, the musicians doing backup vocals also play instruments, such as rhythm guitar, electric bass, or drums.
In Latin or Afro-Cuban groups, backup singers may play percussion instruments or shakers while singing. In some pop and hip-hop groups and in musical theater, the backup singers may be required to perform elaborately-choreographed dance routines while they sing through headset microphones.
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