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.
Thankful to be living in a country where Beyoncé lip syncing is such a concern. #USA— Jay Such (@TheSomeGuyShow) January 23, 2013
Wow, Beyonce is just like us. She lip-syncs to Beyonce.— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) January 22, 2013
If Beyonce didn't sing live at the Inauguration, what's next, are you going to tell me she's not a natural blonde?— Gabe Hilden-Reid (@gabehildenreid) January 22, 2013
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?