Beyoncé’s performance of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at President Obama’s second inauguration on Monday was spectacular.
It was also lip-synced, the Times of London reported.
Yes, the R&B diva only pretended to sing the national anthem to a track recorded Sunday night in a studio at the Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, confirmed Marine Band spokeswoman Master Sgt. Kristin duBois. And the Marine Band “created a visual simulation of playing,” Colonel Colburn, the Director of Marine Corps Band tells NBC News.
Sergeant duBois says it’s standard operating procedure to record the music for inaugurations in advance in case the weather prevents the artists from putting in a top performance.
For example, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues used backing tracks during their performance at President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 because of the bitter cold.
“You can’t play cellos in 25 degrees,” DuBois told the British paper. “Sometimes you just need to do it. Beyoncé is a gifted singer and her decision has no bearing on her musical ability.”
But Monday’s noon temperature was a balmy (for January) 40 degrees (vs. 19 degrees in 2009). And duBois said all of the other musical performances at the inauguration ceremony were live, including Kelly Clarkson’s “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”
Beyoncé’s publicists and agents haven’t responded to requests for comment. But Colonel Colburn said the singer has been busy getting ready for the Superbowl, so she’s had no time to rehearse with the Marine Corps Band. She expressed concern about that and Colburn said he agreed, noting that any artist would be uncomfortable under those circumstances.