January 22nd, 2013
05:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Marine Band says Beyoncé 'did not actually sing' during inaugural, then backpedals

Washington (CNN) - Pop star Beyoncé opted to use a "pre-recording" of her rendition of the National Anthem during inaugural ceremonies in Washington Monday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band told CNN Tuesday.

U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman Kristen DuBois said early Tuesday that "we know why the decision was made," adding that the pop star "did not actually sing," but instead lip-synched her own voice.

Later in the day, however, the Marine Corps said in a statement that no one in their organization "is in a position to assess whether [Beyoncé's vocal performance] was live or pre-recorded."

The conflicting reports from the Marines have yet to be clarified by a statement from Beyoncé or her representatives, who have not responded to CNN's requests for comment.

Originally, DuBois said Beyoncé "pre-recorded" a version of the song the evening before Inauguration Day after rehearsing with the U.S. Marine Band.

In the later statement the Marine Corps said "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," the statement read.

DuBois said such pre-recordings are "not unusual," and that recording musical performances prior to inauguration ceremonies are a necessity in case something should go awry.

"We all know Beyoncé can sing and the Marine Band can play," DuBois said. "I've been with the band 14 years. It's not unusual."

"You can't have an inaugural without the National Anthem," she added.

American cellist Yo-Yo Ma was forced to use a pre-recording during President Obama's first Inaugural four years ago, due to frigid temperatures.

Many inauguration viewers may have also noticed Beyoncé pulled her ear piece out during her performance. But DuBois did not have an explanation as to why the pop star removed the ear piece.

The Times of London first reported the story.

A representative for Kelly Clarkson, who also performed at the ceremony, tells CNN Entertainment that Clarkson did indeed sing live. And a representative for James Taylor, another performer on Monday, confirms his vocals and acoustic guitar were live, as well.


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (337 Responses)
  1. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    She probably didn't know the words to it.

    January 22, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. me

    Milli-Vanilli was way ahead of their time.

    January 22, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Mathew

    Why is this a story?

    January 22, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. truth

    another con artist lol i wonder who flipped the bill??? better not be taxpayers!!! if she was there to fake it... it was better off playing whitney houston's version on air versus a live person.

    January 22, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. truth

    another con artist lol i wonder who flipped the bill? better not be taxpayers!!! if she was there to fake it, it was better off playing whitney houston's version on air versus a live person.

    January 22, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. FajitaBob

    How appropriate.

    January 22, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Whether she song the song before or during the inaugural ceremony, great job.

    January 22, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. truth

    'con' artist lol i wonder who flipped the bill? better not be taxpayers! if she was there to fake it, it was better off playing whitney houston's version on air versus a live person.

    January 22, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. colleenbrickman@att.net

    ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!!!!!!!!!! She is gifted

    January 22, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. buzzy

    Yup, James Taylor was terrible – sad he actually played an instrument and sang. Beyonce was much better at moving her lips.

    January 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Evan Kranzley

    She could lip sync Kate Smith and who wold care? Only the complaining wackos who don't like anything that is surrounding a Democratic Inaugural . Let's all have the Reprobates sent home to cry until the next election when they MIGHT have a chance.

    January 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Not Surprised

    She's a good actress, very convincing. It's lip synching even if she's singing to her own recording. No wonder the need for a huge microphone, hides her lips very well.

    January 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Degcb1

    The thing is this she sang prerecorded or not...it is still her voice! Thank you Beyonce and God Bless America

    January 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Obama Yo Mama

    You lip sync if you can't sing. Simple as that. Beyonce is getting aged. It's time for Jay-Z to get an upgrade.

    January 22, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Tia

    Thanks CNN for another non-news story.

    January 22, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    She probably didn't want to follow that Kelly Clarkson performance.....wow. Kelly was fantastic.

    January 22, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Drum

    She's obviously singing over the backing track, not lip syncing. Big difference.

    January 22, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. fake_liberals

    I want CNN to admit that the would not have covered this as a story if it weren't for the Times of London. I bet every American "liberal" news organization knew up front that she was going to lip-synced the song. And who cares anyway. Why does everyone want to put down this pretty white girl.

    January 22, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. GamesBegin

    And the President was actually sworn in on Sunday. Who cares....

    January 22, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. b

    She clearly didn't want to follow Kelly Clarkson's performance.....Kelly was fantastic. Yes, Beyonce can sing with the best of them, but to follow that up wouldve been tough.

    January 22, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. gusto

    Whitney lip-synched also during the SSB before the Superbowl. NBD!! Remember American Bandstand and Soul Train. Instrumentents unplugged. Way before wireless. The Milli Vanilli issue was because they didnt sing at all. Studio musicians recorded their songs.

    January 22, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. GAW

    I guess the whole nation stands united or divided on this issue.

    January 22, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. tracy

    yet another reason i refused to watch the farce. (add that to the thousand other reasons)

    January 22, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. The Elephant in the Room

    The most incredible aspect of Whitney Houston`s National Anthem [search for it on YouTube] was how efortlessly it was.

    Sis looked like she rolled out of bed, threw her hair in a quick poneytail [or whatever], washed her face, threw on the closest available, color co-ordinated, jogging suit and then strode up to the mic and nailed it! Whenever I want/ need to feel better about this country, I check it out.

    BEST RENDITION EVER Goes to Whitney!

    January 22, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. critical thinking

    Somewhat symbolic of this adminstration. The reality is not what it appears to be.

    January 22, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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