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. Thumper

    I do hope she wasn't paid anything.

    January 24, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. lewtwo

    het at least she memorized the words, maybe.

    January 24, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  3. GuessWho!

    All the Singers should have just sent a Cd or Tape and stayed home? ('Here is the song I wanted you to hear') (' Hope you enjoy it'). What wouldn't been funny if they had played Someone else's Cd? Opps!!! That was Alan Jackson Cd I played,sorry Beyonce.

    January 24, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  4. beyonce rocks her husband not so much

    Can you imagine how nerve racking it would be to sing for the President of the U.S. live on television. Almost impossible to remember the words. Why take a chance.

    January 24, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  5. Steve

    this video is straight creepy.

    January 24, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  6. m.armstrong

    Get a life. Yall don't have nothing else to pick on. My goodness.

    January 24, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. jam man

    Live or memorex . . . I will use her performance as freetime to go to the can , get my snacks n drinks ect. so i can make sure im ready for more funny commercials n oh ya . . . FOOTBALL ! GO RAVENS ! RAY LEWIS GOES OUT IN A VICTORIOUS BLAZE OF GLORY ! n really she kud b performing in my front yard n id close the windows n blinds ! at least GAGA N MADONNA have some talent in songwriting and oh ya music

    January 24, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  8. sue

    sorry, i'm not even american (canadian), but i'm embarrassed that it wasn't live. WOW. For a major televised event like it was, kind of weird she'd do that...

    January 24, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  9. Bill

    Another website verified she was singing. They indicated you could hear the wind blowing when she was singing. I didn't see all this criticism when Christina Aguilera didn't know the WORDS to the National Anthem, which is worst because at least we know it was Bey's voice. People really need to stop hating the beautiful multi-talented rich Beyonce. She is an excellent actress also. I loved her in Cadillac Records, which she also Executed Produced. She is UNSTOPPABLE! God Bless Her.

    January 24, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  10. No excuse.

    Sing it again Beyorce and this time live.

    January 24, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    To everyone out there criticizing Beyonce lip syncing to her own recording:

    1) Do you sing?
    2) If you do, then you know how hard it is to sing in cold, dry weather.
    3) If you do, then you know how hard it is to sound good when you're sing outside (read: lousy acoustics and 1-2 second "slap back" sound delay).

    Beyonce wanted to do her best so she lip-synced (again: to her OWN RECORDING).


    January 24, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. LenZ

    She should not get paid for lip-synced. They could of put her recording on along with her picture, which would of cost 75% less than they had to pay her. That's why....

    January 24, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  13. Iowaeyes

    Much ado about nothing. This is not a story of importance. Everyone knows insturments and voices don't always work well in the cold. It was her voice. Period. Move along.

    January 24, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  14. Kale

    "What difference does it make?"

    January 24, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  15. Mac

    "What difference, at this point, does it make???" 🙂

    January 24, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  16. Jonathan

    Who cares? Don't we all look for ways to get the job done while performing the least amount of work? There were a lot more important things being said (or sung) that day!

    January 24, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  17. MD

    It is ridiculous that this story makes a national website. The media needs to find something better to do with their time.

    January 24, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. dd

    IT IS STILL...... BAD NEWS. A bad decision that will not go away for Beyonce

    January 24, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  19. mawnck

    This is not a mystery. Put on the dang headphones, find a really good quality rip of the broadcast, and listen.

    She's singing live until the last two lines, when they were forced to switch to the track because of the terrible distortion that was coming from her mic and out over the speaker system (and Beyonce's earpiece as well – it started at the word "bursting", right before she pulls it out). The audio directly feeding the broadcast networks was clean, but the echoes from the speakers reveal the problem.

    No doubt your "inaugural official" source was the guy who hired the audio crew. Guess he decided Beyonce would be more comfortable under the bus than himself. Not that I'm blaming the audio guys. It was a live event. Stuff happens.

    January 24, 2013 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  20. Name

    What difference does it make, we all know she can sing beautifully and she gave a wonderful performance on a very special day. Can we move on already!!!

    January 24, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  21. YoYoMa is a faker too!

    The YoYoMa excuse is odd. When you see him performing, or rather faking playing his cello, he appears to be really playing. But he said it was too cold to play...? Wha'??? *scratching head...

    Why not play if you're going to play? He said he would of broken a string but then he's playing the cello... clearly the thing is rubbing ON the strings... and he's pressing on the strings too... what if the string would of broken anyways and the pre recorded music would of been still playing...

    What it is is that these BIG names have a reputation, and ego, a lot of money is behind their names, and they simply do not want to risk a bad performance, bad sound, something going wrong, essentially making it about them rather than democracy in action, a historic presidential event.

    Utter fraudulence based on ego.

    January 24, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  22. Rez

    Where is Kanye when you need him.

    January 24, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  23. MC

    This really isn't news, but once again it provides another example of the media and liberal community fighting tooth and nail to shield from criticism anything "Obama-related"......Rather than dismissing this incident as trivial (which it really is), they rally in some misplaced effort to circle the wagons around BO's inaugural ceremony, even besmirching the USMC Band, implying they weren't truthful (e.g. CNN reporting the band has "changed it's tune" in reference to stating the performance was prerecorded). The bias saddens me.

    January 24, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  24. Greenspam

    Did she arrive late because she was having a tryst with Obama? If I were a Republican, I would demand hearing to see Obama's role in this.

    January 24, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  25. Cj

    Beyonce's biggest attribute is her looks. Not that talented in regards to vocals. I can name a plethora of better singers.

    January 24, 2013 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
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