News / USA

Beyoncé Lip-Syncing Scandal Rages On

Beyonce sings the National Anthem as President Barack Obama (R) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) listen during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2013.
Beyonce sings the National Anthem as President Barack Obama (R) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) listen during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2013.
VOA News
Did she lip-sync or didn’t she?

That’s the question still on many American’s minds two days after popular singer Beyoncé gave what appeared to be a stirring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at President Obama’s inauguration January 21.

The mini-scandal has created more buzz than the president's inauguration speech.

Speculation the song was not performed live surfaced immediately on Twitter and was given legs early January 22  in a story by Washington, D.C. magazine, The Washingtonian. The Times of London later reported that they had confirmed Beyoncé lip-synced her performance.

Fuel to the fire were photos posted by Beyoncé to her Tumblr account, showing what appears to be a recording session with the U.S. Marine Band, which accompanied her performance, in advance of the inauguration ceremony.

Beyoncé herself has been silent on the subject, but the U.S. Marine Band has given conflicting statements.

While one spokesman for the U.S. Marine Band originally told many news outlets that a pre-recorded voice track of the song was used, another spokesman wasn’t so certain.

"Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's [Beyoncé] vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded," said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf to the Associated Press.

Wolf confirmed only that a pre-recorded music track was used in place of live accompaniment.

And so the speculation continues.

On January 23 National Public Radio floated the notion that she both sang and used a pre-recorded track during the performance.

On Twitter, there was a storm of opinions from both supporters and detractors, but more than anything the whole affair has provided ample opportunities for wisecracks.
There are no confirmed cases of another singer lip-syncing the national anthem during a presidential inauguration. Singer Kelly Clarkson, who performed “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” during Monday's ceremony, did sing live.

During Obama’s first inauguration, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman were scheduled to perform live, but because of the frigid temperatures, a recording was played, while the two performers mimed playing. 

Take a look at video of Beyoncé's performance. What do you think?

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MadCityObserver from: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
January 24, 2013 4:38 PM
So maybe because of her upcoming performance as the headliner at the all-important Superbowl halftime show she wasn't able to set aside sufficient time to rehearse the National Anthem with the Marine band and and therefore it was necessary to lip-sync it. Or maybe because the outside temperature and humidity weren't optimal and that would have possibly done irreparable damage to her voice was the reason it was necessary to lip-sync it. Or maybe it was her staff who for whatever reason insisted she lip-sync it and things being what they were she had no choice but to obey. Or maybe ...

by: Raymond Murdock from: Washington DC
January 24, 2013 9:07 AM
There is no doubt that political issues have nothing to do with the show itself. And much less if there is behind campaign promises? Something that in my humble opinion should separate the particular taste, with the public proposal or dissonant sounding as that which is to limit overflows, sanity, seriousness, responsibility, etc. This means we must be reasonable?

by: Howard from: Pacific Northwest
January 24, 2013 7:37 AM
Too much liberty has been taken with the National Anthem's melody these past couple decades. At times Beyonce's performance is unrecognizable except for a couple key spots where she "takes it home" so to speak. Running scales around the written melody rather than performing it closer to the way it was originally intended does not make it any more soulful. Like much of today's so called "Rhythm and Blues" pop music, it's beginning to sound generic and shallow.

by: suzanne from: british columbia
January 23, 2013 10:19 PM
I agree. Who cares if she lip-syncs? This is a non-issue. There are far more important issues for us to concern ourselves with.

by: Juli from: NY
January 23, 2013 7:16 PM
Beyonce lip singing, it is wrong!. She put herself so high and perfect than she shouldn't have a problem singing live. The national anthem should be sung live all the time, if the singer is sick than have a replacement!!. I like beyonce but these artist get pay so much, they should their job!!

by: Bobbie Sena from: San Antonio, Texas
January 23, 2013 3:08 PM
Who cares???? Beyonces performance was spectacular! Why should it matter whether or not she lipsynched?? It was her voice either way. What is the problem?? Why should it be called a scandal??? The scandal is our president continuing to try to motivate class warfare instead of calling us to repentance for ournational promotion of profanity, lewdness, and graphic violence by an entertainment industry run amuck!!!!! Bobbie Sena

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs