January 23rd, 2013
05:21 PM ET
9 years 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. Bill in Florida

    Sorry, but this does matter to me. If Beyonce lips-synched but acted like she was singing live, then she committed fraud the same way that Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong did. If Beyonce performed to a recording, she should have stood there away from a microphone and not mouthed the words so that we knew she wasn't singing live.

    January 23, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. BeeTee

    We know she can sing. However, if she couldn't pull it off live due to a lack of rehearsal and couldn't be bothered to arrange her schedule to be there to rehearse, find someone who cares more.

    January 23, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Chris

    If shes paid to sing live, then freaking sing. It is your career of choice right? No one wants to pay to see you lip sing, anyone can do that!

    January 23, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Frenchie

    I'd rather hear a good voice than her (yikes) real one.

    January 23, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. Soundbug

    When I heard it sounded to me like she was singing on top of her own recording. In other words singing along with it. I could hear her doubling herself. I'm a musician, and its done all the time. Pretty hard to sync up perfectly as no two musical performances are ever identical.

    January 23, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. pointless1

    Nice to see she's in the same category as Ashley Simpson.. Hacks can't sing...

    January 23, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. ken

    if she is professional she should be able to sing regardless

    January 23, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Who cares. I was at the inauguration, my first to be exact and I was astounded to see President Obama in person...what a tall handsome President. I was also thrilled to see Beyonce and Kelly. I enjoyed touring the city, meeting the wonderful people of Washington D.C. and the hospitality and great food. I had a blast.I'm tired and broke but it was worth every moment and every penny. Thank you Washington D.C.

    January 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Puha

    Who cares if she didn't?

    Beyonce is so hot right now she could take a crap, wrap it in tinfoil, put a couple fish hooks on it and you would gladly wear it as earrings.

    January 23, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. brainstorm2011

    It matters! I am a fan of Beyonces' but her choice to lipsync underscores the lack of appreciation and honor for the historical significance and truth of the moment. She has showen that she is more concerned about her brand and image than her ability to adjust to the cold and rise to the occasion of the moment just as the legend James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson did. By NOT admitting it, further cements this truth. Imagine if President Obama pre-recorded his Inaugeral Speech and Lipsynced becausie it was too cold!

    January 23, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. Anna Rog

    I do not understand people. When someone is asked to sing live, maybe you should sing live. The prima donna arrived too late to rehearse with the band. It was disresspectful to say the least. She makes millions to sing then sing it or ask someone else too!

    January 23, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  12. ES

    She should refund the money she was paid. And what is this business about no having enough time to rehearse? She didn't want to make time, obviously. She probably had other money making commitments and the inauguration wasn't the top priority.

    January 23, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. Bill2000

    I worked so many live events, including Superbowls where the talent didn't sing live.
    It is to difficult, typically they lip sync the whole thing or sing live to the stadium crowd while a taped recording is sent to the folks watching TV.
    Not a story.

    January 23, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. hollywood71

    She just as phony as the say is long!!! Great entertainer, mediocre singer.

    January 23, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. acrscout


    What does the Obama administration have in common with the NFL?

    Answer: They both include "False Starts".

    January 23, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why is this any concern? This isn't an important.

    January 23, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. scars

    When I watched her, I knew instantly that she lip-synced it. It was pretty obvious. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Beyonce using a pre-taped performance. Although I am not a singer, I can imagine that a voice, much like many other instruments, can be compromised by extreme cold temperatures. There was possibly even a risk of damage to her voice if she had to strain due to cold temperatures. Or maybe she just worried that her voice would crack in the cold air. Whatever the reason, she has nothing to apologize for. However, if asked about, she should just be truthful and be done with it. It only becomes an issue the longer she doesn't make a comment about it. She has sung live in the past and done a wonderful job, so this isn't an issue of her talent. But, if she keeps acting like she is trying to hide the fact that she lip-synced, it is only going to add fuel to the flame.

    January 23, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Seth Hill

    By allowing Beyonce to lip-sync, once again the Obama Administration has lied to the American People. What seems trivial could, if allowed to go un-checked, eventually undermine the strength of our Nation. We need a Senatorial Investigative Committee to issue some subpoenas and get to the bottom of this.

    January 23, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. sharon

    At least she knows the words which is more than one can say for Christina Aguilar.

    January 23, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Skeptic

    It's her singing, just days earlier. Big deal!

    January 23, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. Name

    I think that she should have sang live as a fan im disapointed wit her that showes me that she depends on voice edditing. And klarkson sang with her real voice and for that she deserves more respect than beyonce. For that in other words thats like playing the radio that wat they shoulda did if she was gonna lip sing her own voice i coulda lip sing .. wit out her being therw

    January 23, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  22. seriously

    This is just getting silly now....

    January 23, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Guest 1

    We live in such a phoney and decietfull world..:(

    January 23, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. bobster26

    What's wrong with this? I'll tell you what's wrong, You sing it no matter what! If you don't know the word's to the song, you shouldn't be singing it. (celebrity or not) Fake is Fake! Embarassing to the USA...P.S. Get someone that knows and can sing the song.

    January 23, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Live Free or Die

    It's all good. It's Beyonce. She's one of us....

    January 23, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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