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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora