Jan 22 Never mind President Barack Obama's
inauguration address or what Michelle Obama was wearing at the
Was Beyonce lip-synching the U.S. national anthem on Monday,
or wasn't she?
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
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine band first told U.S. 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 the
But the U.S. 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 high-profile
"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
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 publicists
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
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 comment
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 a
Beyonce is due to take the spotlight again next month - this
time at the Feb. 3 Super Bowl half-time show.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles and Anna Yukhananov
in Washington; Editing by David Brunnstrom)