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Why TikTok changed to a new text-to-speech voice

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Why TikTok changed to a new text-to-speech voice

TikTokers have lost a real one.

A feature on the video sharing app that allowed users to narrate their content in a robotic voice has officially left the app — possibly due to a lawsuit involving the real-life woman behind the voice.

The text-to-speech function gave a robotic, Siri-like voice to some of the app’s most viral videos.

But as of this week, users have noticed that the monotonous voice has been replaced by a more upbeat one.

“I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION,” wrote user @fymlili along with the new cheery “imposter” text-to-voice function.

Countless other fans of the robot voice took to TikTok to decry the new change.

But the reason behind the switch may be a legal one. According to a lawsuit obtained by The Post, a voice actress named Bev Standing claimed TikTok used her voice in their text-to-speech function without her permission. The suit, filed May 5, claims that Standing did the voice work for a company called “Institute of Acoustics . . . purportedly for Chinese translations.”

“As far as I’m concerned, TikTok is not my client, and so how they got this audio is unknown,” Standing told Insider.

She added that it’s made getting work harder, since her voice is now widely associated with the app: “This is my livelihood, and I’m behind this mic every single day working, training, teaching. You can’t just take it.”

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has not responded to The Post’s request for comment.

But some users have found a way around the change — by not updating the app.

“My biggest flex is that I still have this monotone, soulless voice,” wrote @notyourbubbe. “I’m afraid to update the app.”

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Trailer for Lifetime’s ‘Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace’ drops

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Trailer for Lifetime’s ‘Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace’ drops

The first trailer for Lifetime’s “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace” has been released and it teases that “not all fairytales have the perfect ending.”

The movie is set to air in the fall on the channel known for its incredibly cheesy and dramatic movies.

“Escaping the Palace” is the third Lifetime film retelling the story of the former royals, this time focusing on their highly publicized exit from the British royal family, dubbed “Megxit.”

And as with most of its movies, Lifetime’s iteration of the story spares no drama.

The trailer begins with Jordan Dean as Prince Harry vowing to protect Sydney Morton as Meghan Markle. “I see you literally being hounded to death and I’m helpless to stop it,” he says in the teaser.

“I am the person who is strong and gets things right,” the fictional Meghan responds as she looks over the film’s baby Archie.

The couple then tells each other, “I can’t lose you.”

Jordan Whalen will return as Prince William, Laura Mitchell as Kate Middleton, Steve Coulter as Prince Charles and Maggie Sullivan as Queen Elizabeth II, according to Entertainment Tonight.

The official logline of the movie informs viewers that the film will recount “what really happened inside the palace that drove Harry and Meghan to leave everything behind in order to make a future for themselves and their son Archie.”

Lifetime also promises that it will “detail Meghan’s growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that ‘The Firm’ was not defending them against the press’s attacks and Harry’s fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that caused his mother’s untimely death.”

The movie is also set to delve into the private feud between Harry and his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles, as well the conflict between Meghan and her sister-in-law, Duchess Kate.

Lifetime previously released films about the royal couple in 2018 (“Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance”) and 2019 (“Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal”).

The latest iteration will also re-create Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah in March, in which they were open about their struggles and decision to leave the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly been “deeply upset” by Prince Harry’s oversharing.

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My boobs keep growing ‘a lot’ — but they’re natural

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My boobs keep growing 'a lot' — but they're natural

When life gives you melons, you may have to explain to the public that they’re not fake.

Salma Hayek has gone on the record to say that yes, her breasts are real — but she can understand why fans might think otherwise.

“A lot of people said that I had breast augmentation. I don’t blame them! My boobs were smaller! So was the rest of my body,” the 54-year-old actress said Wednesday on “Red Table Talk,” the Facebook Watch series Jada Pinkett Smith co-hosts with her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. 

Her growth, however, is all natural. Hayek explained that it happened significantly during life changes like pregnancy, menopause and periods of weight gain. 

“For some women, they get smaller. But there are some women that when you gain weight, your boobs grow, and other women that when you have children and you breastfeed your boobs grow and they don’t go back down, and then in some of the cases when you are in menopause, they grow again,” she said. “I just happen to be one of those women that it happened in every single step! When I gain weight, when I got pregnant and when I am in menopause.”

While her breasts “just kept growing,” she said it’s been a pain.

“Many, many sizes. And my back has been really suffering from it,” she said. “And not a lot of people talk about this.”

While the hot flashes and emotional intensity of menopause are often talked about, Hayek noted that the breast growth came as a surprise.

“I’ll tell you what they don’t tell you. The boobs grow — a lot,” said Hayek, who recently announced an HBO Max project about talking menopausal boobs.

Getting older, though, has also taught the entertainer that stereotypes about women expiring when they hit a certain age are a completely, destructive narrative.

“There’s no expiration dates for women. That has to go. Because you can kick ass at any age. You can hold your own at any age, you can dream at any age, you can be romantic at any age,” she said. “We have the right to be loved for who we are at the place that we are. We’re not just here to make babies, we’re not just here to baby the men. We’re not just here to service everything and everyone around us.”

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Elton John adds final dates to ‘Farewell’ tour before retiring

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Elton John adds final dates to 'Farewell' tour before retiring

Elton John is saying “Farewell” for the third time before officially retiring.

The pop legend, 74, has added several dates and begun selling pre-sale tickets for the third leg of his final tour, “Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour.”

“The shows that I announce today will be my final tour dates ever in North America and Europe,” John said. “I’m going to go out in the biggest possible way, performing at my very best, with the most spectacular production I’ve ever had, playing in places that have meant so much to me throughout my career.”

John is set to perform in additional European cities and several major North American cities. The tour begins in September in Berlin, with stops throughout North America, Europe and New Zealand until 2023. 

The tour will conclude in Auckland in 2023. The tour also includes rescheduled dates from John’s 2020 tour in New York City, Houston, Detroit, Miami, Toronto and Montreal that were scrapped due to COVID-19.

“I’ve been enjoying my time at home with the family while the world navigates its way through the COVID pandemic. But, I really miss being on the road and performing for my beloved fans in my ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,’ ” John said in 2020. “While the scientists are making great progress, we are making big plans for a return to touring that will allow us to ensure the health and safety of everyone.”

The 17-month tour is extensive, with performances in more than 50 cities. John will be performing in huge venues and stadiums, including Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome and Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Grammy-winning musician first embarked on the tour in 2018 and it proved to be a success, bringing in $358.6 million across 179 shows globally.

John will return to North America Jan. 19, 2022, in New Orleans and tickets go on sale June 30.

Here are the added dates for the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour:

2022
Jan. 19 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
Jan. 21 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Jan. 22 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Jan. 25 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Jan. 26 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Jan. 29 – N. Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena
Jan. 30 – Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
Feb. 01 – Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center
Feb. 04 – Chicago, IL – United Center
Feb. 05 – Chicago, IL – United Center
Feb. 08 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
Feb. 09 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
Feb. 14 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
Feb. 15 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
Feb. 18 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Feb. 19 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Feb. 22 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Feb. 23 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Feb. 25 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
March 01 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
March 02 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
March 05 – Long Island, NY – Nassau Coliseum
March 06 – Long Island, NY – Nassau Coliseum
March 19 – Fargo, ND – FARGODOME
March 22 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
March 23 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
March 26 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Center
March 27 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
March 30 – St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center
April 01 – Indianapolis, IN – Bankers Life Fieldhouse
April 02 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
April 05 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
April 08 – Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena
April 09 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
April 12 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
April 13 – Hershey, PA – Giant Center
April 16 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
April 19 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
April 20 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
April 23 – Jacksonville, FL – Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena
April 24 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
April 27 – Orlando, FL – Amway Arena
April 28 – Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena
May 22 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park
May 29 – Leipzig, DE – Red Bull Arena
June 04 – Milan, IT – San Siro Stadium
June 07 – Horsens, DK – CASA Arena Horsens
June 09 – Arnhem, NL – GelreDome
June 11 – Paris, FR – La Defense Arena
June 15 – Norwich, UK – Carrow Road
June 17 – Liverpool, UK – Anfield
June 19 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light
June 22 – Bristol, UK – Ashton Gate Stadium
June 29 – Swansea, UK – Liberty Stadium
July 15 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park
July 18 – Detroit, MI – Comerica Park
July 23 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium
July 28 – Foxboro, MA – Gillette Stadium
July 30 – Cleveland, OH – Progressive Field
Aug. 5 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field
Sept. 7 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre
Sept. 10 – Syracuse, NY – Carrier Dome
Sept. 16 – Pittsburgh, PA – PNC Park
Sept. 18 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium
Sept. 22 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Sept. 24 – Washington, DC – Nationals Park
Sept. 30 – Arlington, TX – Globe Life Field
Oct. 2 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium
Oct. 21 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place
Oct. 29 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome
Nov. 4 – Houston, TX – Minute Maid Park
Nov. 12 – Phoenix, AZ – Chase Field
Nov. 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Dodgers Stadium
Nov. 20 – Los Angeles, CA – Dodgers Stadium

2023
Jan. 27 – Auckland, NZ – Mt. Smart Stadium
Jan. 28 – Auckland, NZ – Mt. Smart Stadium

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