A stir has arisen over whether Beyonce sang or lip-synched
the US national anthem during inauguration ceremonies for
President Barack Obama in Washington. REUTERS/Kevin
Never mind President Barack Obama's inauguration address
or what Michelle Obama was wearing at the ball.
Was Beyonce lip-synching the US national anthem on Monday, or
The Grammy-winning singer remained silent on Tuesday amid a
media storm over whether she was lip-synching, singing over
her own pre-recorded track, or performing live when she
delivered a flawless version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to
hundreds of thousands of people in Washington and millions
watching on television.
A spokeswoman for the US Marine band first told US news
outlets on Tuesday that the "Single Ladies" star "decided to
go with the pre-recorded music at the last minute" and that,
to the spokeswoman's knowledge, she was not actually singing
But the US Marine band later backtracked, saying in a
statement: "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance,
no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether
it was live or pre-recorded."
The statement said the band and Beyonce, whose surname is
Knowles-Carter, had no chance to rehearse together before
Monday's inauguration "so it was determined that a live
performance by the band was ill-advised for such a
"Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the
Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing
temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating
circumstances," the Marine Band added.
Beyonce, 31, was giving her first major public performance
since giving birth to a baby with husband, rapper Jay-Z, in
January 2012. On Sunday, she posted on Instagram photo of
herself in a recording studio holding the sheet music for
"The Star-Spangled Banner."
Her representatives did not return calls for comment on
Tuesday. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed
at the inauguration ceremony, both sang live, their
Whatever Beyonce's choices on Monday, she was not the first
artist cause a stir on such occasions.
Classical musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two others
played along to a pre-recorded tape at Obama's 2009
inauguration because the cold and wind on the Washington Mall
raised the potential of broken strings and sharp notes.
Madonna lip-synched her way through her 2012 Super Bowl
half-time performance last year, as did the late Whitney
Houston in her 1991 Super Bowl rendition of the national
anthem. Singing to pre-recorded tracks has become widespread
in the pop music industry
The lip-synching question made headlines around the world and
"Beyonce" was among the top Facebook conversations on Monday,
according to the social networking site.
Fans were divided. "I enjoyed the performance and do not care
whether it was lip-synched or not - it was a beautiful
rendition, with some originality, of a song we have all heard
so many times," wrote LeeAnne24 on the Washington Post
Twitter user hiphopdancerJen was disappointed. "There's
honestly no reason for Beyonce to lip-sync... Especially the
national anthem. I may despise most of her music, but she has
Beyonce is due to take the spotlight again next month - this
time at the Feb. 3 Super Bowl half-time show.