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. Rod

    And why does anyone care? There are bigger issues needing attention.

    January 23, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. lostisland

    Or put another way, I regard lip sync and pitch corrected artists the same way I do Lance Armstrong – as cheaters.

    January 23, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Mike

    This chick is no longer a prize in my book. This lip syncing thing takes the cake. And here I thought she was live.

    There are so many better singers out there. Why President Obama wanted her again, is beyond me.

    This country needs to see this woman retire and raise her kids at home.

    January 23, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. bkgmusic

    She looked great...it was her voice...and she has already proven she is a great singer. Let it be folks.

    January 23, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. lisbet

    Before I see another "who cares" comment from someone who CARED ENOUGH to click on the article and read it – what's up with the slavish fan adoration? Her recent albums have bombed, but she is still being presented as the greatest star of our time. She wore a fake bump during an interview to stir more interest in her pregnancy! She dramatically ripped her earpiece as a demonstration of her great singing skills, while lipsyncing...
    Look fans, she is making millions of dollars (50 million only from Pepsi), while most of you barely make $10/hour. Stop worshiping her like slobbering morons and look at your own miserable lives.

    January 23, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. looknclick

    Fool me BeyOnce, shame is on you, fool me BeTwice ...

    January 23, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. Roadcase

    It is truly pathetic when the general public couldn't care less whether they are seeing an actual performer, or a drone just lip-syncing....smh

    Is this the same track she will pop-into the deck at the Superbowl and feign that as well?
    Heck, crank it up on the Fourth Of July too!

    And who sings the National Anthem with one hand on a mic?
    The protocol is to sing into a mic on a stand, with your hands clasped in front of you, or at your sides. Your head is to be held high, and your shoulders thrown-back proudly.
    You don't stand there with a mic in one hand, while you repeatedly toss your hair like a diva in an Hebal Essence commercial.
    Like I said...pathetic.

    January 23, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Dyan S

    Seriously why is this still being discussed?

    January 23, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Theodore Plum

    The United States Marine Band has taken the fall because of something that was absolutely not their fault. The band was prepared to perform live but Beyonce refused to sing and instead opted to fake her performance. I could not care less about what Beyonce did, but other stories made it sound as if this was the Marine Band's call. That is incorrect. The Marine Band is blameless in all of this.

    January 23, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Leigh

    She was smart to lipsync and not make any mistakes...but I really thought that the soprano in the Brooklyn Tabernacle was wonderful but no one cared about her because she wasn't a pop star....too bad....

    January 23, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. Bu11durm

    The reasons why she didn't do it live are understandable. However, she still lied. If you aren't going to do it live, then just show a video of your recording. Don't lie to everyone.

    January 23, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  12. Robert Amores

    Was it her voice we heard?...YES
    Was it fabulous? ...................YES
    Is the world gonna end ?...............NO

    Beyoncé is a professional that does not allow room for mishaps, next story.

    January 23, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. random

    Whether or not it was a recording, it was her natural voice. who cares? she was late; stuff happens...

    January 23, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. glock 23

    Whats the big deal? It's the same lip service we have been getting from obummer for years!!

    January 23, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. J Al Randall

    Big deal over nothing. So if she was singing into a "dead" mike and the recording was used, seh still has a good voice. For whtever reason and however it was done,it was a good rendition of a very difficult song.
    That being said, Kelly Clarkson's performance (live by allindications) of God Bless America was sould stirring and really the star performance.

    January 23, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  16. Surfdog

    I dig Byonce, but come on, Lip synching is lame.

    Mili Vanili baby

    January 23, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. joe

    Since the whole show was made for TV anyway, why not use prerecorded material to make sure everything goes OK? Now if they could just use animatronic horses to avoid piles of crap in front of the reviewing stand....

    January 23, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  18. lol

    Fitting considering politicians themselves are completely fake, to have a fake song sung to them.

    When youre a paid professional singer and you gotta lipsync, especially the national anthem, you should probably hang it up.

    January 23, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. Michael

    I've never heard her sing live. Appearances on SNL and other shows were pre-recorded. She's a dancer, and a great studio singer. Let's not forget Whitney's Superbowl performance of the National Anthem was also pre-recorded and was one of her best performances..

    January 23, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  20. Steve Wilson, Canada

    Can you imagine what some of the great news people of the last 50 years would say about this? Walter Cronkite for example?

    This is NOT news. Nor is about 50% of the crap on CNN's site or any of the others. I hope they read this...

    January 23, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. Ken Taylor

    Since she is only lip sycnciny, she should have chosen a better singer to lip sync to.

    January 23, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  22. Adak95

    Fake singer for a fake President, seems right.

    January 23, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. linda01

    Well she EXCEPTED praise for singing a flawless live performance of the anthem when she knew she didn't. Even had me wondering how she was able to be so flawless. The problem is it was a lie. Created in a studio and tweaked to be perfect. Then she walks out and acts like she's just that perfect. Instead of using a person pretending to sing, over her perfectly tweaked and recorded song that was produced just right. If it was going to be fake then they should have got a fake character too like Barney, Miss Piggy, the Archies, or Josie & the Pussy Cats.

    January 23, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  24. Christy

    I know Beyonce is an incredibly talented singer. Her live vocals are excellent. Leave her alone, things often go wrong with these huge events, they needed backup. Why is this news? We all know she can sing.

    January 23, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. Politicor

    Everyone else is giving lip service in DC, why does she get in trouble?

    January 23, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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