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. Greg

    WHO CARES!!!! She completely RUINED the National Anthem by trying to “Make it her own”. The National Anthem has ONE tune and ONE tune ONLY it is not open to your own personal interpretation or your own little version! Unless your name is Francis Scott Key sing it correctly as written or not at all!

    January 22, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. ODA155

    I'm not a fan of hers, but so what... this is the "norm" for this particular song when performing in from of (in my best Dr. Evil voice)... "MILLIONS"... in case you haven't noticed... it is a very easy tune to mess up.

    January 22, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Eric

    If she didn't sing, she shouldn't get paid.
    I mean, this is a great version (except for the vocal runs and taking a breath, messing up "Land of the free" and doubling up on "Of the brave". She really has a great voice, simple would have been more effective in the performance of a lifetime (In front of the President.)
    To lip sync an event like this probably was because she might flub the words like oh so many other crappy pop stars.

    January 22, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Alina77

    Oh come on , it was so cold, if she felt that it was too risky then it was up to her.

    January 22, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. lardoggy

    No surprise here,just one more fake in this dog and pony show happening in our government now days!

    January 22, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. walleye46

    I actually did NOT like her rendition of the Anthem. I TOTALLY ENJOYED Kelly Clarkson singing My Country Tis of thee. Absolutely WONDERFUL.

    January 22, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. mona19595

    And the point of this story is what exactly? She is not the only lip syncing performer out there, at least when she does it you can't tell unlike other performer's..........

    January 22, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Tom Bu

    This is wrong, so wrong! Awful.

    January 22, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. ND4190

    Regardless of of whether Beyonce sang live or not, her rendition of the National Anthem was amazing. All of yesterday's performers were great.

    January 22, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Courtney

    Jennifer Hudson would have been a better candidate

    January 22, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. kirby

    Big deal. Britney sells out concerts world wide and everybody knows she lip syncs through the whole damn show.

    January 22, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. jesse

    Last I checked she is a multimillionaire too (so much for the 1%), so another mailed in performance by this administration, should we expect anything less?

    January 22, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Original Jamma

    The world owes Milli Vanilli and HUGE APOLOGY!!!

    January 22, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Columbo

    @Tom A- keep living in ignorance if you like. And for the record, CNN was not the first to report this "story."

    January 22, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. R Sawyer

    The "one tune only" was not written by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the words, but the tune came from a traditional English tavern song. So sorry, "Greg," but I don't think anyone has to get Key's permission to change the tune around. (He's a bit tough to get in touch with these days anyway.)

    January 22, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. ColdWarVet

    A fake just like the commander in thief

    January 22, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. DMatt

    To ECHO what some have said WHO CARES! The Inaugration has passed and the moment is in the history files now. Let's not have a uproar here. Let's move on.

    January 22, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Christina

    Seriously, you are making a story out of this??? Who cares! We have WAY MORE IMPORTANT issues in this country - like our children being murdered. You call this NEWS?

    January 22, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Tiffany

    This is not newsworthy.

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. mike

    Why is everyone so shocked? Thanks to popular "tastes", electronically improved talentless pablum like Beyonce sells is the norm now. If you wanted quality you should have got somebody else, and stop supporting this American Idol-type dreck.

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Tricia

    I hated Beyonce's version of the Star Spangled Banner. I find it hard to believe she lip synced something that in the end turned out that bad! I am shocked by how many people think she did a great job. YUCK!
    I thought Kelly Clarkson sounded like crap, too, for that matter. Beyonce has a good voice, and sounded fine in the parts where she didn't try to embellish the song too much. Adding 800 syllables to words like "brave" is what ruined it for me!

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. unaware

    yoyo. Beyonce and her psychotic alternate personality sasha fierce is a devil worshipping satanist who probably helps jayz sacrifice children

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Anndd??? It was absolutely beautiful..and it was her singing.

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Thinks2010

    Who cares. Why is CNN wasting web space and air time on this. In the case of this report, I have to say CNN stands for Certainly Not News.

    January 22, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Ryan

    Typical CNN stupidity making this out to be an actual story.

    January 22, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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