In the 60s and 70s. iconic singer and actress Cher had a string of undeniable hits that landed on the Billboard Hot 100, with number one singles like "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves," "Half-Breed" and "Dark Lady."
After going roughly, a decade without a chart-topping single—the goddess of pop re-emerged with a new sound that took the world of music by storm in 1998 with her hit single "Believe," which featured the pioneering use of the audio processing software Auto-Tune.
"I do actually have a video of me doing ‘Believe’ by Cher, I'm such a huge fan of the song. It's one of my favorites," said Claire Marie Lim, an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music.
The professor teaches a music tech production course that shows her students the same technique used in "Believe," and 25 years later, you can barely stream music within any genre without hearing the pitch-perfect vocals made possible through Auto-Tune.
Auto-Tune was originally intended to be used to disguise or correct the pitch of recording artists, but the sound became a trademark for hit makers years later like T-Pain who capitalized on the software on nearly all of his projects.
"Other artists were listening to that song, or they saw it as an example to start off with and could then see here is the potential for all of what could happen, so I think it was really great door opening for a lot of artists and producers and engineers to think about the possibilities," Lim said.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard top hits from T-Pain, but stars in the industry haven’t shied away from using the popular effect, like rapper Lil' Wayne, Post Malone, 21 Savage & Lil Uzi Vert.
The effect even broke into pop with bands like Maroon 5 pushing the pitch-perfect sound.
The use of the effect comes with its fans and foes, but no one can deny the impact it’s had on music already, and it's future.
"I think we're only going to keep pushing the envelope and keep coming up with more creative things," said Lim.