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.
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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?

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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

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