Listen to AI Johnny Cash Sing ‘Barbie Girl’
The robots have come for the Man in Black. An AI-generated recording of Johnny Cash singing Aqua's 1997 hit "Barbie Girl" in the style of "Folsom Prison Blues" sprung up on YouTube on Thursday and racked up over 500,000 views in four days.
YouTube channel There I Ruined It garnered a following with renditions of pop songs set to the AI voices of classic crooners.
(Because, really, who hasn't wondered how it would sound for Frank Sinatra to belt out Lil Jon's "Get Low" ?)
How the AI Johnny Cash Version of "Barbie Girl" Was Made
In an interview with Business Insider, There I Ruined It creator Dustin Ballard described the process: "I first record the vocals myself so that I can do my best imitation of the cadence of the original singer."
He uses a song from the artist's catalog before deploying a voice model trained on their recordings, Ballard told Insider.
Hear Johnny Cash Sing "Barbie Girl"
AI Johnny Cash caught the internet's attention on the heels of The Barbie Movie's social media ubiquity. There's also the uncanny resemblance between AI voice and Cash's. Earlier AI recordings on There I Ruined It are similar to the artist's voice, but Cash's levels up the series.
The YouTube recording segues from "Barbie Girl" to the Spice Girls' "If You Wanna Be My Lover" and "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus before AI Johnny complains about the state of modern music and begs to be freed from his computer prison.
"This is what you call music?" Johnny says. "Well, I'll be damned."