Created on: January 24, 2013 Last Updated: January 25, 2013
Barack Obama is probably thanking his lucky stars that one of the biggest news items to come out of the inauguration ceremony for his second term was that the main entertainer lip-synched rather than performed live. Beyonce, who had the star role of singing the US national anthem, ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ was initially praised for her flawless rendition. Then, however, the news emerged that she hadn’t sung live at all, but mimed to a pre-recorded version.
A spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band, which is traditionally invited to perform at presidential inauguration ceremonies like this one, revealed that the whole song, instrumental backing and all, had been pre-recorded. This is usually the case in preparation for any issues with equipment, but the vocalist would still sing live. In Beyonce’s case, she decided at the last minute to go with the pre-recorded version. It was suggested that she didn’t have time to rehearse with the Band and so was reluctant to sing blind.
Another Band spokesperson later seemed to contradict the first one by suggesting that no-one in the band was in a position to say whether Beyonce’s rendition was lip-synched. However, the fact that a photo of Beyonce in a recording studio holding a sheet of music with the lyrics to ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ on it served to add fuel to the fire and many people took to Twitter and other sources of social media to vent their annoyance. According to the Daily Mail, one fan said: 'Its like when i found out santa claus wasnt real... how can you do this humanity?'
Some celebrities jumped to Beyonce’s defence. Piers Morgan said: ‘Beyonce still SANG it everyone. It was HER voice.’ And while Aretha Franklin, who sang ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ at Obama’s first inauguration ceremony in 2009, admitted that she laughed when she heard the news, Beyonce had done a great job nevertheless, particularly because of the extreme temperatures.
Beyonce herself has declined to comment, although she can hardly have failed to hear what people are saying. Instead, she got on with launching a lifestyle blog called ‘Beyhive,’ which is apparently free to join. As her website says: ‘The BeyHive blog is my way of showing all the inspiring things I come across every single day. This is through my eyes.’
It is believed to be the first time that anyone has mimed the national anthem at a presidential inauguration ceremony and other entertainers at this year’s event, including Kelly Clarkson who sang ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee,’ apparently sang live. However, in the circumstances, it is hard to blame Beyonce for taking the easier option. The combination of the temperature and nerves must have been a terrifying experience, even for someone with Beyonce's experience. And after all Beyonce has proved that she has a stunning voice, even if it was polished in a recording studio rather than a more rough and ready live version.
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Beyonce rendition of national anthem at Obama inauguration was lip-synched