Star-mangled banner? Beyonce accused of lip-synching at President Obama's inauguration
Wednesday 23 January 2013
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 wasn't she?
The Grammy-winning singer remained silent yesterday 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 news outlets yesterday 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 anthem.
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 high-profile event.
"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 yesterday. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed at the inauguration ceremony, both sang live, their publicists said.
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 comment board.
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 voice."
Beyonce is due to take the spotlight again next month - this time at the Feb. 3 Super Bowl half-time show.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark finale review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
Game of Thrones season 5: Episode 4 preview clip presents the Sand Snakes as HBO reveals new titles and synopses
The Visit: Watch terrifying trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia