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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Star Wars Episode 7: Game of Thrones actor Miltos Yerolemou joins cast
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain