Singer Beyonce Knowles phoned in her dramatic performance of the national anthem at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21 by lip-synching to a pre-recorded track.
A rep for the United States Marine Band confirmed that the 16-time Grammy winner’s performance was 100% lip-synched.
Meanwhile, other Inauguration Day performers, such as Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson, performed live. In 2009, Aretha Franklin, then 66 years old, performed live at Obama’s first inauguration.
“We received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track,” Kristin DuBois, a rep for the U.S. Marine Band, told the NY Post. “We all know Beyonce can sing. We don’t know why she chose to use the pre-recorded track.”
As Beyonce mouthed the words, the band had to act as if they were banging on drums and blowing on wind instruments, forcing the musicians to keep up charade.
While lip-synching is common, and in many instances (of mediocre singers, such as Madonna) enhances the performance experience for the audience, it’s surprising that Beyonce chose to lip-synch, given her vocal admiration for the Obamas and her incredible talent.
Adding to the bewildering aspect of her sham performance was a tense moment near the end of the “Star Spangled Banner,” when Beyonce dramatically removed her earpiece (as if she were really singing), when we all now know she was merely moving her lips.
Beyonce next performs at the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. Is her Inauguration Day lip-synch a taste of what we can expect from her?
[Related: Aretha Franklin: I cracked up when I heard Beyonce lip-synched]
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