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. Mr. hand

    I'd like to sync her lips

    January 22, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. libralee

    Ha! Why sing and prove how bad you are when you can fake it! And I'm sure they wouldn't have had auto-tune if she were really singing. She is a has been. Let's see if she fakes it at the Super Bowl too, bet she does!

    January 22, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. moose1

    A fraudulent national anthem for a fraudulent president! How appropriate!

    January 22, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Tom A.

    Hey Columbo- its more of a story than if Kelly Clarkson was lip-syncing because it was the "main event" with regards to performances at the event and becuase it sounded so great... Your ridiculous "I know why" comment makes no sense when its a story on CNN aka the Soledad O'Brien News Network that is clearly not Anti-Obama! Nice try though...

    January 22, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Kimber

    This story is so not true. Clearly she was singing live you could hear all the feedback in the mic that's why she removed her earpiece. You could also her her breathing. Now, she may have sang along with the pre- recorded track because there was no live band........NEXT!

    January 22, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. chrisdg74

    No surprise at all. 90% of today's "stars" can't sing live. They need Autotune and Pro-Tools to sounds decent.

    January 22, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. vee vee

    I hate when people comment on posts by saying "who cares?"
    Wanna know who cares? Umm, you d.... Because if you didn't, you would have kept scrolling and not even taken the time out of your busy schedule to comment on this story. Point. Blank. Period.
    And everybody fakes it-including your wives and husbands-so there.

    January 22, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Matthew

    For the record Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman played to their own recording which is what everyone heard in the mall 4 years ago. If you think Beyonce is the only one that has trouble performing on a cold morning take that as perspective.

    January 22, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. ritmocojo

    "If she were president she'd be Babebraham Lincoln." Garth, in 'Waynes World'

    January 22, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Ndjr

    More importantly, although this video doesn't show it, she shook Obama's hand he kissed her cheek as he went in to kiss the other cheek she walked on him, gave the Prezz the cold shoulder!!!

    January 22, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Lee Hansen

    Whitney Houston's famous Super Bowl was sung over a recording

    January 22, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Dan

    Um...Kelly Clarkson did not lip-sync. Already confirmed.

    January 22, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. caldo95

    I thought Kelly Clarkson was better anyway.

    January 22, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Jennifer Hudson was amazing (as usual) but I'm sure we won't hear about that.

    January 22, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Dee Sanchez

    Fake singing, Fake American President, sounds right to me! was it a communist loyalty song?

    January 22, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. holly

    Whitney Houston did not sing the national anthem after 9-11...

    January 22, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. semper fi

    Obama has been faking it for years. So whats the big surprise?

    January 22, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Crocker

    It fits with the entire Obama coronation theme. Er, inauguration sorry....

    January 22, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Red Dog

    Milli Vanilli lip synced and it cost them their Grammy.

    January 22, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. jnpa

    It's not like she used someone else's voice. It was her singing, just not live so who cares!

    January 22, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Todd

    Just say no to auto-tune artists, you are not a musician if you need electronics to help you hit the notes. She is totally fake anyway always has been.

    January 22, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. willsmith

    it sounded too good to be live.

    January 22, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Jeff

    People..honestly. It's a little hard to sing on key when the temperature is near freezing.

    Of course she is going to lip sync the song.

    January 22, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. niarts

    Why haven't we heard about Kelly Clarkson? It appeared to me she was using a note guide to remember the words. Check it out but I know why we have not heard anything.

    January 22, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Lady T

    There's a whole lot of haters on this board. I wonder...How many of you could sing well enough to even have a Pre-recording of the National Anthem sound good? I'm guess a select few...and you're probably the loudest haters here...Great Talent always attract the Great Haters in this country

    January 22, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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