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. Tracy

    It was obvious that she lip synched. she cant sing. she went into the studio and did take after take to try to get a version that sounded halfwa good. This woman can not sing to save her life. We call it fake singing .

    January 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Roger Dickens

    I think I'm done with CNN. This isn't news and people's views are so warped. America has made so much progress as a nation but clearly many of us don't wish to go on that journey.


    January 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. wow

    So I'm guessing people missed the part where Ms. Dubois said this is not unusual and many artist do it.

    Selective reading at its best. People just want an excuse to shat on Beyonce.

    January 22, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. MazeAndBlue

    So what.....Next story please.

    January 22, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Tracy

    she pulled the ear piece out to give the impression that she was singing . very manipulative. she is sensisitive about her singing as she should be

    January 22, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Now, I really believe she fake her pregnancy."

    Just let us know when you're ready to fake yours. NO really..pushing out a fake baby from your hoohoo is sper easy...won't hurt a bit.

    Haters gonna hate. CNN threw out the red meat Teatroll bait and they all flocked here to nom nom nom nom nom like the predictable, pavlovian troglodytes they are.

    January 22, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Voted 2012

    II know people that sang it live and are not celebraties, they're just spoiled and/or lazy. However, it is a know fact that they are pre-recorded at ball games, i e baseball, basketball, etc.

    January 22, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. achepotle

    I pre-typed this comment before posting it...last night....

    January 22, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. bugmetoo

    If she is going to lip-sync, then they should of just put a picture of her up on stage while they played it.

    January 22, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. reality bites

    I hate to tell you folks but there are very few 'live' performances...all of your idols lip-sync.

    We live in a phony world.

    January 22, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Nothing proves the radicalized right wing teatroll army to be more unhinged that their over-the-top nonsense reactions in response to CNN throwing out red meat click-bait to them like this. I wouldn't be suprised to find out that they bit each other fighting to get to a keyboard to spew whatever the latest talking points Red State or Drudge fed them in response to this "news."

    January 22, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Voted 2012

    so did this guy mention this to be malicious/make Beyonce look bad or was he just sayN anyway how do we know Kelly Clarkson was live, live memorex whatever both were good.

    January 22, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. tom LI

    Uh...no we dont really know that Beyonce can sing. In this day and age of Auto-tune, and other electronic/digital voice assistance...we really dont know who of the BIG Pop Stars can truly sing. And when I say sing, I mean more'n one, maybe two short songs...but sing a list of them and still nail it!. IMO, 9 of 10 cant actually sing. Especially these Divas who are more looks than anything else, and the Guys, who are more six-pak Abs, than talent.

    January 22, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. shan22044

    I'm not sure that lip-syncing is the word. I could've sworn I heard two voices when she first started singing. Like her mic was turned on and also you could her a recording of her voice. There's a name for that, can't remember.

    January 22, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. shan22044

    I'm not sure that lip-syncing is the word. I really thought I heard two voices when she first started singing. Like her mic was turned on and also you could her a recording of her voice. There's a name for that, can't remember.

    January 22, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Paula

    Beyonce cannot sing. She cannot hold a note. That was evident listening to her. If she recorded that, she should have gone back in to the studio until she got it right.

    January 22, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. GayAtheist

    A Led Zeppelin national anthem would have been better.

    January 22, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Voted 2012

    II'm a James Taylor fan, he could have done better, I was very dissapointed, maybe his was pre recorded too and he didn't want to mess it up, but he could at least made it a bit more exciting. When he finished I thought what, that's it James?

    January 22, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Voted 2012

    Now that Beyonce is older and a mother maybe she will tone down on the racey costumes, and not dance with her legs spread apart all the time with the camera beaming at her crotch. Rhianna and others need to do the same, don't need to dress burlesque to get world wide fans.

    January 22, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. momo

    lip synch or not.. that was an incredible rendition of the anthem.

    January 22, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. registered voter

    Beyonce and many other entertainers add too much of their own flavor to any song they sing, just keep the simple songs simple please. All of those horrible pitches, screaming and screaching make me cringe and my ears bleed....uggg

    January 22, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. asdf

    she didnt lp synic.. this is a LİE

    January 22, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. SteveE

    What the crowds heard was pre-recorded... what the people standing close to her was her voice actually singing. I am not sure what the fuss is as this is commonly done in major events where the possibilities of audio breakdowns can and sometimes occur.

    January 22, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. eg

    Beyonce is an excellent singer. She has a marvellous voice. Excellent singers with marvellous voices do not lip-sync in an event like this. Very sad.

    January 22, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Davalfher

    Aaaah, right, no wonder the humongous mic, using it to cover her mouth... classic

    January 22, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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