Antares Audio Technologies has created a monster with its ubiquitous Auto-Tune technology. This audio plugin is a pitch correction tool that has been used and abused by modern music acts in every genre. Some artists use Auto-Tune's powers in concert to ensure a good live performance, like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. Others, like T-Pain and Craig David, have used Auto-Tune to fuel their careers.
In 1998, Cher's "Believe" brought popular attention to Auto-Tune technology, but the plugin was kept a secret. The single opened the door for other pop singers like JoJo and Madonna to utilize Auto-Tune to manipulate portions of their songs for dramatic effect.
And then hip hop happened. T-Pain emerged onto the scene as a singer that exclusively used Auto-Tune to modify his vocals. During one week in 2007, four singles--one of them at the #1 slot--in the Billboard Top 100 chart featured T-Pain's vocals. Snoop Dogg tried his hand at singing for "Sensual Seduction" in 2007, using Auto-Tune as a crutch. And most recently, Kanye West's "Love Lockdown" employs Auto-Tune throughout in T-Pain-like fashion.
I'm over Auto-Tune. How about you?