January 22nd, 2013
05:30 PM ET
10 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. Patriot

    When Beyonce did not actually sing the national anthem she lessened the historic integrity of the inauguration. Why not just put her picture up there and play the recording. Or better yet, get someone else next time to honor the event with actually doing the right thing of totally showing up and singing the song. It's what people expected!

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. I will wait

    During the performance I said it sounded like she was "singing over her recording" and that is why she pulled out the ear piece because hearing her voice in her ear was bothering her. I am certain she sang it along with the recording. Listen to the tape and at times it sounds like a duet.

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. pdj

    Why is this even news when there are so many more important things happening in this wold.

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. 20sandi12

    SHE's A FAKE – couldn't hold up against James and Kelly. DId it in the studio the night before, with all the equipment to fix her voice.

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. Ugh

    Bouncy is so overrated.

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I Think you all got more to worry about than a song being lip sinked especialy you wolf

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Bob

    Good God, is CNN really this hard up for news. Who cares it looked and sounded great. Fine something else to waste your time about.

    January 22, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Say it ain't so

    Is everything about this administration fake???

    January 22, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Brenda Wentland

    It was great and without her it would not have happened.

    January 22, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. David

    Why is it that these performers are so afraid of making a mistake? In my opinion, I would rather have a live performance and an honest mistake than not even trying...

    January 22, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. tafugate

    personally, i don't care whether beyonce performs live or not. but i do believe lip-syncing performances is an indictment of the fear people have of making mistakes. big whoopie deal. the 12-year-olds will giggle. the adults will understand welcome to life. humans are getting progressively stupider. eventually we'll all die and forget it all.

    January 22, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. bobfromca

    She did a great job lip synching.. Sounded good either way. I don't care that she lip synched.

    January 22, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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