President Barack Obama's second inauguration on Monday featured performances from Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, and a rousing rendition of the National Anthem from Beyoncé. Now, reports are surfacing that Beyoncé was lip-syncing her performance.
“All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day,” United States Marine Band rep Kristin DuBois told Page Six. “We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know what the reason why.”
The Washingtonian reports that "it was evident that the band wasn't actually playing during the song."
Earlier, Beyoncé posted a photo to her Instagram account of herself holding the sheet music to "The Star Spangled Banner" in a recording studio.
Beyoncé surprised viewers when she ripped out her earpiece mid-performance. But according to these reports, the earpiece was unnecessary in the first place.
As Washington Post's Jessica Goldstein noted, one of the most celebrated performances of the National Anthem was Whitney Houston's in 1991, which was also lip-synced.
UPDATE: TMZ reports that Kelly Clarkson was not lip-syncing her performance of "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
UPDATE: The Marine Corps Band has released a new statement on Beyoncé's performance. "The Presidential Inaugural Committee requested that the Marine Band accompany Beyonce Knowles-Carter in the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2013 Inaugural Ceremony. However, there was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event. Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances. Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."