When did singers start using auto-tune?

This is probably a silly question but when did singers start using auto-tune? And when was it first invented?
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  • The first hit I remember using it was Cher - Believe (1998). But I doubt she was a pioneer, she just sort of took it mainstream.

    Madonna also used it on her 2000 album Music, produced by Mirwais.

    I feel it's overused. The texture of people's voices get lost, including the inherent charm. That said, a lot of pop stars aren't great singers, so at least it keeps them in tune. But listen to someone like Janis Joplin or John Lennon or Elliott Smith. That is art.


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