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. mike johnson

    ... the CNN Central Scrutinizer strikes again .... so a bit of editing ...
    ... that is what you do if you do not have confidence in your abilities ... and come to think of it ... it is like this whole administration, appearance matters more than substance ... and not worthy of The United States of America.

    January 22, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. mike johnson

    ... that is what you do if you do not have confidence in your abilities ..

    January 22, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Mike in SA

    No wonder...lip syncing president too, saying what ever will get him in the seaat of power.

    January 22, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. mike johnson

    ... sorry for the doube or triple post .... CNN Central Scrutinizer is chasing me ...

    January 22, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    And this matters because???????????????

    January 22, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Suzanne Bothamley

    The big question here is...why on earth is the news media spending so much time on this?????? She did a great job..It sounded great...Does anyone actually care about this? To the news editors and anchors...GET OVER IT

    January 22, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Gort1

    Yet another entertainer Fleecing America...wth....

    January 22, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Gort1

    just goes to show Beyonce and others are not WHITNEY HOUSTON....:(

    January 22, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Carolynn

    Ya think! That was clear yesterday. The band sounded like it was a long way away and then all of a sudden, both were in the same place. At first I thought how in this world can she sinc up with the band with every note bouncing around between monuments! So I guess they all did what they had to do. I was a proud American yesterday.

    January 22, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. NooYawkah

    Beyonce lip synced. Kelly Clarkson sang live. Moral of the story. Only trust white people.

    January 22, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Chris

    American right = a bunch of whiny, malcontent bellyachers who cannot be placated. I apologize for not using monosyllabic words for you folks. You may not be able to understand what I've written (assuming you can read), but I assure you that they're not complimentary.

    You people are addicted to having reasons to be afraid, reasons to be mad, upset, crying over absolutely nothing. You keep yourselves up at night thinking up new reasons to be afraid, to be the cowards you are. You wake up and go from sleeping on the mattress to hiding under the bed.

    You've no joy in your lives whatsoever and you want everyone else to be as cowardly and depressed and miserable as you are. And even with something like this...you fall over yourselves to let everyone know how miserable you are. You're not patriots; you're cowards. And your fear and anger don't make you active Americans, it makes you miserable fear mongers.

    Have fun with that. It's never too late to go back to high school and invest in a diploma.

    January 22, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. bols

    whos cares...there is more important issues than Beyonce lip synking or not.

    January 22, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Greenspam

    WHO CARES???? Lip synch is common practice. You just can't screw up something like this. What's the big deal???

    January 22, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. robin

    She is pathetic. The way she was moving and acting like she just did the best performance of her life. Now, I really believe she fake her pregnancy.

    January 22, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Rich

    CNN, the fact you're reporting such blatant BS is quite shocking to me. Beyonce DID indeed sing live. she did however use backing track. You absolutely must do your research. She is ever so clearly singing live in this clip over the backing track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tCNth-N9Z0. They were most likely playing the backing-track in her ear and it was distracting her, so she removed the earpiece.

    January 22, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Nowayjose2833

    So, when are they going to apologize to Mili Vanilli?

    January 22, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Joe

    She could not memorize it because it something that stands for this country. I guess she memorized all her songs when she got paid by Muammar Gaddafi two years ago worrh $1Million . LOL

    January 22, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. matt

    Just as the person being sworn in, the main persons who came to that inauguration not because they are obliged (like the band) is just plain "plastic"!

    January 22, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Mary

    The President is a phony, so why shouldn't the singers around him be phony. He's such a man of the poor down trodden, yet he's really someone who loves to be around celebrities like Jay-Z, his wife Beyonce, and Hollywood power brokers. It's all hype. He should have saved the $150 million spent on the inaugural and given it to people without jobs and the people in New York and New Jersey without homes due to the hurricane Sandy.

    January 22, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. TJ

    I stood in the cold on the mall for about six hours yesterday. The only time I felt a chill was when she sang/lip synched the National Anthem. I don't care how it was done, It was astounding.

    January 22, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. jA_1

    LOL! what a performance.

    January 22, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Fred

    I'm with Greg. I'm sick and tired of these singers, getting up on stage and using their self agrandizing vocal aerobics to attempt to be "cool". Why not just show a video of Whitney Houston singing at the Super Bowl. The best over!

    January 22, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Toni

    THIS JUST IN: Obama lip-syched his inaugural address as well.

    January 22, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Ryan

    neither are you mike, so go ahead and do what all the right wing nuts say to to people that don't agree with them and move tor Russia.

    January 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Kati Granville

    Is everything that's has to do with our government a hoax, even down to our national anthem. This has me outraged I believe it takes away from the class and special feeling we should have when swearing in out president. Was the audience real or were the wax figures made to look like people cared! Did the record the roar of the crowd after too? Sickened and I really thought she was an inspiration for my whole life that was worse than Ashley Simpson for real?

    January 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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