January 23rd, 2013
01:03 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: Inaugural audio boss on Beyoncé: 'It's something that Beyoncé should disclose'

Baltimore (CNN) - The owner of the company that ran the audio board used during Monday's inauguration ceremony tells CNN it's up to Beyoncé to disclose whether she was live or lip-syncing the National Anthem.

"What people heard over the system and on-air was Beyoncé singing the National Anthem and when she actually sang it is kind of a moot point," said Bob Goldstein, owner of Maryland Sound International.

But during the course of an exclusive interview with CNN, Goldstein dropped several hints that the pop artist's performance was indeed pre-recorded. However, he was not willing to say definitively whether Beyoncé was lip-syncing.

"I don't believe it's up to us to have that conversation. I don't think it's a question that I should answer," Goldstein told CNN. "I think it's something that Beyoncé should disclose. I think it's up to her whether she wants to address the conversation," he added.

The U.S. Marine Band, whose music accompanied the singing sensation's performance on Monday, initially stated through a spokeswoman on Tuesday that Beyoncé "was not actually singing" the Star Spangled Banner. Hours later, the band backed away from the spokeswoman's remarks, releasing a statement that said the group was not in a position to know for sure.

Beyoncé pre-recorded a version of the National Anthem the night before the inauguration, the Marine Band disclosed. In her initial comments to CNN, the band's spokeswoman said that pre-recording was used. The band's official statement late Tuesday would only acknowledge that its own music accompanying Beyoncé was a recording.


The sound board used during Monday's inaugural ceremony.

Goldstein was willing to state that the inaugural ceremony's other two musical performers, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, gave live performances.

"I can tell you that the other two were absolutely, all the way live," Goldstein said. "I can't tell you about Beyoncé because it's become an issue. And I don't think it's up to us to clarify the issue. I think it's up to her."

Goldstein defended the pop star's performance, whether it was "live" or "Memorex," as he put it.

"It was 100 percent her singing in either case. It's not somebody else singing the part for her. It's a hundred percent her. It was a hundred percent live whenever it took place," Goldstein said.

Asked about the audio board used during Beyoncé's performance, Goldstein declined to say whether its operator could hear the pop star singing. He also would not say whether the board operator played a pre-recording or the live performance.

After a long pause, Goldstein said, "I don't think I'm going to answer that question."

Publicists for Beyoncé have not returned CNN's calls for a comment on her performance.

Meanwhile, Matt House, spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said simply: "I refer you to Beyoncé's representatives and won't have any further comment."


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. bch

    Bouncie can't sing anyway! It is all studio glitz! Celine should have sung it....LOL!

    January 23, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Donna

    Who cares? Move on. Lip syncing is expected at these events. Everybody knows she can sing for God's sake! It is not like this is a Vanilli scandal.

    January 23, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "What people heard over the system and on-air was Beyoncé singing the National Anthem and when she actually sang it is kind of a moot point," said Bob Goldstein, owner of Maryland Sound International.
    -----------------–
    So, what's your point then? There are any number of reasons to do so. From not wanting to sing in frigid air, a head cold sore throat, to not wanting wind noise coming through the microphone. If he runs professional sound systems for living then I'm sure that he can come up with a dozen more reasons, instead of making open speculations

    January 23, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Wow. CNN didn't get told by enough people yesterday that nobody gives a crap and this wasn't "news"...nor is it at all "political news" that belongs on the Ticker...so here they are, back with more of it.

    January 23, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Brad

    This is what passes for news?

    January 23, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Gregg McVicar

    Yo Yo Ma was prerecorded last time (in 2009).

    January 23, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. gina

    Kelly Clarkson performed LIVE - so any technical reasons Beyoncee didn't perform live like Kelly are mute. Beyoncee should have been honest with her viewers and let them know she was miiming instead of singing live - so viewers could weigh the talent of Kelly Clarkson really performing live versus some fake thing like Beyoncee did. It's easier to jiggle around and mug for the camera when you're not having to REALLY SING. Kudos to Clarkson for giving viewers something real to cherish. A moment – a real moment. True.

    January 23, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. gina

    Kelly Clarkson performed LIVE. She's the REAL DEAL. nice. ;}

    January 23, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. just sayin

    it is all a show people. just a show. obama included. smoke mirrors and fakery. and you wonder why things are a mess?

    January 23, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    What a remarkable story two days running. No doubt CNNs "keeping them honest" journalists will keep digging until the truth is finally (and fully) revealed. Looking forward to the "did she or didn't she" part three sequel.

    January 23, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. grant

    Beyonce's singing at the Celebration is not that important as for CNN or any other Network try to discredit her talent or put some type of damper of the History that was made. CNN and other outlets need to put something more credible or inspiring to help the people of this Country to come together and not polarize us apart for any reason.....Be honest how many of us can Sing like her in person or recorded....so what's the difference.....get a life.

    January 23, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. max

    She should have sung flaws and all. I guess people cannot stand fake. As a person of color I think Beyonce is trying to be toooo damn perfect because she wants wide appeal so god forbid that she should be human and sing with her natural voice. I slowly being turned off of her plasticness!!

    January 23, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    If you think knowing whether Beyonce was lip-syncing or not, will somehow change your life for the better, by all means, carry on. As for me, I'll continue getting my work done.

    Have a nice day and happy hunting.

    January 23, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Mary Sol

    The reason why Beyonce's lip-syncing is important is because she was asked to sing during one of the most historic moments of all time. This was at the National Mall, where Dr King gave his "I Have a Dream Speech", and where the first black president stood and was sworn in because people of all colors finally came together, a dream that Dr King and many blacks & whites died for. Beyonce was asked to sing the National Anthem in front of the President, former Presidents, the entire Military and with global leaders watching all around the world-this wasn't a football or baseball game....
    The fact that a lesser experienced singer (Kelly Clarkson) sang live in the same conditions and did brilliant gives Beyonce no excuse to lip sync at such a historical event.

    It's absolutely ridiculous Beyonce would even think of lip sync during the most honorable singing requests of her entire life.

    January 23, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. gina

    Hopefully she'll be bood off the stage during super bowl like that Simpson sister caught miming as well... we'll see! Never bot anything beyoncee or don't even watch the super bowl - but if this mimer is bood, might tune in to see that. lol!

    January 23, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Terry

    She was not the only person who was faking it that day.

    January 23, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. shawn foster

    Just to be complete, let us include the fact that the marine band accompanying her was also pre-recorded. It was a complex score and arrangement.

    January 23, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. a little sad

    "It's absolutely ridiculous Beyonce would even think of lip sync during the most honorable singing requests of her entire life."

    Perhaps that's why she chose to make sure it was perfect. Would you want to be the one who cracked on the top notes on such a momentous occasion?

    As for Kellly Clarkson, she did a wonderful job, also.

    January 23, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. trpsgirl

    Whether she lip-sinced or not matters because if she did, Kelly C. and James T. were not "playing on a level playing field" with her; and if she did lip-sinc and professes to the illusion that she is "at the moment" singing, she is being hypocritical. Not political news but, definitely, "social media" news!

    January 23, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Rina

    Let's see. Beyonce is a big supporter of Obama. The Marines are full of republicans. The Marines started this crap but then bowed out with an apology. Smells to me like another attempt by the American Taliban to make Obama look bad in any way they can. Beyonce was there for ENTERTAINMENT purposes. I don't care if she blew it out her bottom. It sounded a whole lot better than anybody I know – lip-synching or not. Geesh! You repubs really need to grow up.

    January 23, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Rina

    The Marine Corps band is awful. They are just jealous.

    January 23, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. local

    @ Rina.......guess you wanted a hip-hop song instead

    January 23, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "It was 100 percent her singing in either case. It's not somebody else singing the part for her. It's a hundred percent her. It was a hundred percent live whenever it took place,"
    -------------------------------------------------
    She could've e-mailed the song in for all I cared, she sounded wonderful.

    January 23, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I remember seeing her pull out her earpiece, I guess that got in the way of the lipsync?!?
    What is it with you people????!
    Beyond ridiculous.
    You know who should've had a back-up recording? Aretha Franklin. It was Tundra cold that inauguration day. I'm sure she was wishing that she'd had a back-up recording.

    January 23, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Justin

    That or people don't care about this. Spend more time with REAL news. Thanks!

    January 23, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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