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. dude

    I hardly recognize her anymore. So fake looking......goes with the fake singing I guess.

    January 22, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. john wolf

    why was this made a story. i dont get it.

    January 22, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. kim

    She'll bump and grind her way through some hip-hop- trash song in her underwear at the Super Bowl, and it will be faked also.

    January 22, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Squigman

    Would any of you like to stand out in close to freezing weather, and try to sing? Hell, most of you wouldn't stand in a cozy room and do what was right, let alone stand outside in cold weather.

    January 22, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Wayne

    She took the "ear piece" out because if you're not really singing there's no reason to hear your voice through the in-ear monitor (ear piece).

    January 22, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Chris

    She blows anyway. Why would anybody care?

    January 22, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Dark Knight

    Beyonce is a lip syncing "Queen". I actually not sure if she can really sing or not. I remember the good ole days when artist very rarely faked it. Where's Gladys; Anita; Jill Scott; and the Queen of Soul?

    January 22, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. M. Edward

    Is this really news and is it important?

    January 22, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. jdoe

    Big deal. Better safe than sorry.

    January 22, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Columbo

    We all know that Beyoncé can sing and dance, she has been doing so for years. So what if she lip synced? It is not uncommon for musicians to lip-sync–particularly when it is their own music. Why isn't any once asking whether or not Kelly Clarkson lip-synced. On the second thought, I know why....

    January 22, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. adankish

    wait....who cares?

    January 22, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Tonya

    Until you speak or sing in front of hundreds of thousands of people , you have no right to judge.

    January 22, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. o well

    if she faked it, she sure fooled me. along with everyone else.

    January 22, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Chris

    Its all about real musicians.. Rock and Roll. Cant fake that

    January 22, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Carl G Tampa

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Beyonce – you lost my vote.

    January 22, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Bedunécsay

    duh...she took out her ear piece to make it seem real...jay z gonna make her pay!!

    January 22, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. M. R.

    Tsk Tsk CNN. This is poor reporting and Ms. DuBois is lying. Look on YouTube and see the AP Raw video. You can CLEARLY hear he sing along with a backing track. That is not lip-synching.

    January 22, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Jay

    Damn did this need to be brought up? Who cares. Oh I know angry always got negative comments because they were born in a family full of losers type people. Get over it, she's beautiful, rich and talented.

    January 22, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. libralee

    Ha! Not surprising. Why take a chance on sounding terrible when you have a recording you can play!

    January 22, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Glenda

    Why do people always have to tear one another down. Why can't we rejoice in the fact that people have talent and for whatever reason she had it had to be her choice. Perhaps she felt her voice was stronger during rehearsal, for whatever reason its was not for us to judge.

    January 22, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. bert f.

    She lip sync'ed to a recording that was probably 'fixed' in a recording studio to make her sound good. Most the young so-called stars do the same thing. I miss the generation that wouldn't even think of lip synching and sing live.

    January 22, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Angela J

    So What! So did Whitney when she sang the National Anthem several years ago. And we all know she COULD sing back then.

    January 22, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. margaret

    at least she didn't chew gum during it. Or yawn...

    January 22, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. RF Burns

    Fake. Just like everything about this administration.

    January 22, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    The greatest singer that ever lived, Luciani Pavarotti, once lip sync'd.

    January 22, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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