January 23rd, 2013
05:21 PM ET
1 year ago

Update: Inaugural official says Beyoncé ‘did not sing live’

Washington (CNN) - An inaugural official who asked not to be identified told CNN Wednesday that pop star Beyoncé lip-synced her performance on Inauguration Day.

"She did not sing live," the official told CNN. A pre-recording of the artist's rendition of the National Anthem was played instead. What was heard by spectators and viewers was the sound of that recording, according to the official.

The official said Beyoncé made the decision herself the night before Inauguration Day.

Beyoncé arrived so late Sunday night she did not have time to rehearse with the U.S. Marine Band, which was asked to accompany the pop star's performance, according to the inauguration official.

"Because she didn't have time to rehearse with the Marine Band, she decided to use her recording with the Marine Band," the official added. "It was all Beyoncé."

The official was somewhat puzzled by Beyoncé's decision, noting when she made the pre-recording, "she was spot on."

She recorded her part separately from the band and her rendition was married with the band's music, the official said.

The taped performance should take nothing away from her skills as a live artist, the official said. "She's actually a very good live singer," the official added.

CNN has still not received comment from Beyoncé.


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Just Saying

    Who Cares? It was obviously her voice, rather it was taped or not. Geez people. Move on. Aren't there more important things to worry about. The girl can sing – end of story!!

    On another note. I watched the ceremony and I can tell you that Beyonce's "taped" song was much clearer than the Kelly Clarkston live song. Both women have chops, so why all the hoopla over "it is live or is it Memorex"? Both were amazing!!

    January 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. anonymous

    why is this news?

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. ReadyRover

    Give the lady a break. It's not like she's Milli Vanilli and can't sing very well. We all know she has the chops. And now we know she's a good actress as well... hahahahahahah

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Dan

    Do we really have time to entertain this with all the things happening in the country right now.

    January 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Ken in MD

    Why would anyone possibly care about this?

    January 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. EarpieceGate

    Why did she remove the earpiece?

    January 23, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. PolarBear18

    Yes, Beyonce can sing. But she didn't sing the National Anthem on this occasion – she pretended to sing and acted as though it was real by false gestures such as removing her earpiece.

    Given the forum of the performance, her lip synching was a disgrace to the President, to the live audience, to the television viewers and to artists like Kelly Clarkson who sang live under the identical conditions & circumstance.

    January 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. shelbie

    How much did taxpayers pay for this "live" performance?

    January 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Newspaper boy

    Next news story .... Please

    January 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Humorless

    Why would anybody be concerned about this performance being live or a recording? Somebody, please help me understand...

    January 23, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Erik M.

    She did sing the National Anthem just not live. Big deal she was late ,she messed up, it happens she's only human!

    January 23, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Professional Musician

    It is wrong to lie period. They should have announced that the performance would be rendered to a pre-recording. If it would have been tacky or perceived as "inappropriate" to declare this before the performance, it doesn't make it any more right to only find out "by observation" afterwords. It is false advertising. It matters because ethics should matter. When we make excuses for such things, we easily make appropriate other distortions or deceptions which are designed to "protect" a person, their career, or people's perceptions of them. Deception without pure ill-intent can be tolerated but should not be excused or encouraged. Otherwise, we are simply lowering our standards. And deception is a pretty low standard by any measure ... and in this case, was delivered and endorsed by the Marine Corps via the performance of the Marine Corps band.

    January 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. This is what matters.

    This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world. This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.This is what really matters in this world because this is what really matters in this time in our world.

    January 23, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Barack O

    Just another Auto-Tuned Has-Been.

    January 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Does this matter at all? Two days after the event and people are still acting like it was a crime. The petty things Americans dwell on amazes me

    January 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Spendlove

    It's gov policy to have performers record their songs for redundant backup in case anything goes wrong the day of the event... CNN can end the witch hunt now.

    January 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. The Point

    The Point is not only was this believed to be a live performance and she portrayed it as much, that the persona that it is okay for lip syncing in today's society is superfluous, it also takes away from a concert/event goers experience. People don't spend hard earned money, to drive to a venue park a mile away fight through obs of crowds, to see someone going through the motions. What if Tom Brady played in the Superbowl tattooed up wearing Collin Kapernicks jersey? You can argue its not the same case, but all and all it is cheating. Its Performance Enhanced Singing.

    January 23, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Sandra Taylor

    WHO CARES? I'm sure that all of us on this post would agree that if we were selected to sing the National Anthem in front of millions of people and in front of the President of the United States and the powerful leaders, there can be no screw ups. You can't flub a line, your voice can't crack, you can't forget the verse and make any mistakes at such an important event. It's not a contest. Everyone knows Beyonce can sing and I think it was a brilliant move. Don't forget that people say that the National Anthem was sung best by Whitney Houston before a World Series. That is true. And you know what? She lip synced it. It was prerecorded. I think the only ones making such a big deal out of this is the media - they seem to want to start something - I wish they would stop CNN!

    January 23, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Name

    She is a greate singer an always will be I think it had to be a good reason for her to do that so its really not a big deal to me or none of her fans we still love her

    January 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    No big deal. Maybe the only ones who care are grumpy Republican Tea Party zealots who are desperately trying to find some fault in anything connected to President Obama.

    January 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Denise49

    Dan, do you really have time to read this article? You should be dealing with all of those things happening in the country right now, instead.

    To me, it sounded like she was using a backup track, which a lot of singers use in live performances. That is nothing new. Unnamed sources have been known to be wrong. Not that this one is, but it would be nice to hear from someone who isn't afraid to give their name.

    January 23, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Gabe

    How disappointing. Only one song she was called upon to sing and couldn't perform it live??? Lazy and spoiled are these grossly overpaid celebrities. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on the other hand were fantastic! Beyonce, shame on you.

    January 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Pecy

    Why does it matter? She was there in person, it was her voice. If there had been absolutely no mention of lip syncing, nobody would have known the difference. The moment was no less meaningful and her voice no less lovely. The whole thing is beyond ridiculous.

    January 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Me

    The question has to be asked, why did she come in so late, that she wasn't able to pratice with the Marine Band? It's not like the date just appeared on the calendar.

    January 23, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. mark

    Tacky. a Presidential inauguration, and she brings a tape instead of her voice. Apparently not important enough for her to actually sing. I can think of a hundred more attractive women that would have looked better up there lip sync'ing. This woman is in the spot light because her uber rich daddy kicked open doors for her and bankrolled her into stardom, not because she had any talent. So her career was paid for by someone else, her music is written by someone else, her boobs were made by someone else, her dance moves are from someone else...the only thing she had to offer was a singing voice and she couldn't even use that...pathetic

    January 23, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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