Green Room

Inauguration scandal: Did Beyonce lip-sync the National Anthem?

posted at 12:41 pm on January 22, 2013 by

It’s not exactly a shock when some performers choose to lip-sync to prerecorded versions of songs during special appearances at events.  Some songs are difficult to reproduce live, outside of a well-equipped concert tour, especially for artists who make extensive use of studio magic to produce a specific sound.  But, er … the National Anthem?

Beyoncé sang the national anthem at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony for President Obama and received overwhelming praise for her performance, ranging from Business Insider (“It was just amazing”) to TMZ (“f*cking awesome”).

But to close observers, it appeared the performer was not singing live. To press seated just below the podium, in front of the “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band, it was evident that the band wasn’t actually playing during the song—even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments. Separately, at one point during her performance, Beyoncé removed her earpiece.

And later, in an update …

UPDATE January 22, 11:45 AM: The London Timeshas confirmed our theory that Beyoncé  was, in fact, lip syncing. See the video via YouTube.

UPDATE January 22, 12:10 PM: “We don’t know why Beyoncé decided to use prerecorded music,” a spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band told us this morning. “All music [for inaugural ceremonies] is prerecorded as a matter of course, and that’s something we’ve done for years and years. The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony but we received last-minute word that Beyoncé wanted to use the recording.” The spokesperson also added that everyone knows Beyoncé is a gifted singer, and her decision has no bearing on her musical ability.

Singing at an inauguration is such a singular event that one would think a performer would be anxious to perform live — or step aside to let someone else do it.

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go milli vanilli :)

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

I though it was kind of funny that some lefty columnists at HuffPo were against her singing at the inauguration because she signed a huge contract with Pepsi. I have a hard time following their reasoning, since she was such a huge donor/fundraiser for That Guy.

juliesa on January 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Ridiculous. Beyonce has a nice voice there was no need to lip sync the National Anthem.

terryannonline on January 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Sure, next you’re going to tell me that she faked her pregnancy, too. Wha?

Fallon on January 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Not even the band?

Pathetic

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony but we received last-minute word that Beyoncé wanted to use the recording.”

Of course they did. The Marines are real. All the others are something else.

Jabberwock on January 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The patriotic words must have scorched her throat, so she had to fake it.

RedRedRice on January 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

It was about as real as her hair.

Moesart on January 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

She did’t do anything wrong.

She was just following the lead of our own Great Leader, she voted “present”.

SpudmanWP on January 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Surprised??? She lip syncs EVERYTHING! All her recordings are auto tuned. She’s as phony as her hair. And as for getting bent out of shape for signing with Pepsi, don’t forget, she’s one of the fabulous who entertain the Saudis for huge bucks. You know, the Middle East, where women can’t walk the street without a male escort?

teacherman on January 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Don’t blame the band, it was out of their hands.

As soon as the decision was made to go with the lip-sync, they had to go with the recording of the band. It is virtually impossible to sync a voice track to a live band.

SpudmanWP on January 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Te’oed it.

Knott Buyinit on January 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Surprised??? She lip syncs EVERYTHING! All her recordings are auto tuned. She’s as phony as her hair. And as for getting bent out of shape for signing with Pepsi, don’t forget, she’s one of the fabulous who entertain the Saudis for huge bucks. You know, the Middle East, where women can’t walk the street without a male escort?

teacherman on January 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Whle I have no idea if she normally lip syncs. I do think she has a good voice, which why I don’t understand why she chose to do this.

terryannonline on January 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Whle I have no idea if she normally lip syncs. I do think she has a good voice, which why I don’t understand why she chose to do this.

To be good at something you have to practice and practice a lot.

She is good at lip-syncing.

You figure it out :)

SpudmanWP on January 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

(E)veryone knows Beyoncé Obama is a gifted singer orator.

LOL

Not as fun as the Michelle *eyeroll* thread but it’s amusing.

Fallon on January 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

She is good at lip-syncing.

The thing is, she actually is a good singer. Check this out, for instance. Also, as far as I know, she didn’t lip-sync at Obama’s inauguration in 2009. There must have been something else going on that explains her decision to lip-sync this time. Maybe she had a sore throat that day? Or maybe she thought the national anthem is too important to risk flubbing it.

Jazzman on January 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM

So what?

She used her own voice in a venue with difficult acoustics.

Sounded great to me.

PattyJ on January 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Who knows how many “takes” it took to get it right.

You do not deserve praise for a job well done if you did not do it, that is “sing live, well, outside, on key, and in one shot”.

As is typical with this president, it’s all about image instead of substance.

SpudmanWP on January 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM