Report: Beyoncé Lip-Synced National Anthem at Inauguration: Is the Moment Tarnished?

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Beyonce Lip Sync National AnthemWhat’s noisier than bombs bursting in air? The news that Beyoncé Knowles lip-synced her epic performance of the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

Granted, it’s not uncommon for singers to pre-record their vocals for live outdoor events. But the New York Post broke the news today that Beyoncé removing her in-ear monitor midway through “The Star-Spangled Banner” (video embedded below) was a piece of pure theater. (Whatever the case, girlfriend definitely lip-synced…for her life!)

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“All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day,” Kristin DuBois, a rep for the United States Marine Band told the Post. “We performed live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyoncé was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know what the reason why.”

Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that Kelly Clarkson sang live for her stunning cover of “My Country Tis of Thee.”

What do you think of this news? Is the beauty of B’s performance tarnished by the fact that it wasn’t live? Is this much ado about nothing? Why couldn’t Beyonce do what Kelly could? And do you need to hear from Beyoncé herself before you decide? Sound off in the comments!

Comments (150)

  • Sad that the talentless are such critics. Those really familiar with artist recognize that every performer yesterday is talented. To compare any of them to the other is silly, especially when you consider their body of work. Stop being the unqualified critic. It wasn’t a competition. They were performing as a gesture and contrig

    Comment by roger – January 22, 2013 11:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Who’s comparing their talent? We’re comparing their confidence and their chutzpah. With good reason.

      Comment by meem – January 22, 2013 12:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it was tarnished by the fact that Obama was be inaugurated again.

    Comment by Josh – January 22, 2013 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Suck it up, buddy. Four more years! Yeah!

      Comment by meem – January 22, 2013 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • … and responding to the honor of the invitation to contribute to ceremony.

    Comment by roger – January 22, 2013 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not really news. Most people singin’ the National Anthem at the Superbowl (beyoncé included, mariah, and even that famous amazing Whitney) lyp-sync to it, because of the acoustics and all it takes someone with balls to do it live. And this event was just the save, she was prob afraid of not being abble to hear herself right there and went with the pre-taped vocals.

    Comment by Leo – January 22, 2013 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • no they don’t, don’t make up stuff because you want to protect ‘your God’ Beyonce. Whitney NEVER lip sync the national anthem. That was a rumor that she quickly put to rest. You know what I think is really funny? I think it’s funny that people are throwing Whitney under the bus to protect this fake-can’t-sing to save her own life- steals music from everybody, media whore called BEYONCE!!!!

      Comment by grace – January 22, 2013 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That is very DISAPPOINTING BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS!! Everything about yesterday was very GHETTO if you ask me!!

    Comment by Rio Stack – January 22, 2013 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • including the man honored

      Comment by jack – January 22, 2013 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, ’cause James Taylor absolutely screams “ghetto”. Seriously, WTF?

      Comment by Angela – January 22, 2013 04:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d say this is a bit overblown. Beyonce has proven time and again that she can sing – she’s not like a lot of other current pop stars who get heavily Autotuned or can’t actually sing. There must have been a reason for it – maybe she was sick or not feeling well – and I think it’s justifiable to do this under circumstances like those. Why sound bad at such an important event if you’re not in top form? I don’t think her reputation is tarnished – she’s an amazing singer and has sung live consistently without issues – so there must have been some kind of issue behind the scenes to account for this.

    Comment by Rhiannon – January 22, 2013 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If she was sick she wouldn’t have taken her coat off, get real. She wanted everyone to see her lace dress. Also, she was over made up for the occasion. This was not one of her shows. I enjoyed Kelly and James much better, they were dressed nicely and not overdone and sang live.

      Comment by Dede – January 24, 2013 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why not simply accept the reality, flaws and all, of a live performance?

    Of course it’s not note for note perfect like a studio recording. And so what?

    Comment by John – January 22, 2013 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Between the opening of the NHL season and the NFL play-offs I watched 8-10 different national anthems this weekend and every one of them sang live. If Beyonce couldn’t hack it they should have called Pia Tocano (sang at the LA Kings game) or the Zac Brown Band (sang at the Falcons-49ers game). Both sang live and sounded AMAZING!

    Comment by dank – January 22, 2013 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For someone whom prides herself on her talent, this was a lack luster moment and a bad bad decision on her part.

    Comment by Amanda – January 22, 2013 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If it’s Britney then it’s ok because she is less talented and always needs to lip-sync, but not Beyonce, she should of sang live

    Comment by Jase – January 22, 2013 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That makes sense . . . punish Beyonce because she actually has talent . . .

      Comment by Fern – January 22, 2013 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • and why do we care either way?

    Comment by Ethel – January 22, 2013 12:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m a huge Beyoncé fan, and one of the reasons is because her live performances are usually so pure and heartfelt, for example the VMA’s 2011, but hearing this news just puts her in league with artists that are known for lip-synching like Britney, Chris Brown an Justin Bieber. Hopefully this was a one-off, because it’s moments like this that I’m really dreading her SuperBowl performance.

    Comment by Luke Murphy – January 22, 2013 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why does anyone give a damn?! It’s an outdoor event and if something had messed it up, people would be b!tching. So, just freaking stop your b!tching and worry about something that actually matters. People’s comments on here are so stupid?

    Disrespectful? Oh please.

    Comment by Cory – January 22, 2013 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • uh, NEWSFLASH everyone everywhere: just because Ashlee Simpson got caught lip syncing a million years ago doesn’t mean people stopped lip syncing. if you’re a stickler for live singing, then by all means be mad about it. i dont really care. can you imagine how much pressure it is singing THE NATIONAL ANTHEM at the PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION in front of THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES while being broadcast on television to millions and millions of people? would you rather she sing live and miss her notes and her be eternally embarrassed that she messed up THE NATIONAL ANTHEM at the PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION in front of THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES while being being broadcast to millions and millions of people? and you don’t think she’s not feeling the same pressure for her superbowl performance in two weeks? give the girl a break, she’s only human.

    Comment by cjeffery7 – January 22, 2013 01:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not a Clarkson fan, but the girl can sing. The manner that Kelly endorsed Romney upset me, but even with that, she still had the respect and decency to perform her song live. Beyonce (who claims to love Barack and Michelle) had to lip sync. That doesn’t show much respect to me. *Kelly did an amazing job and only re-confirmed that she is a better vocalist than Beyonce.* Beyonce is an over-rated sell-out who only gets attention, because she gives the media’s and society’s idea of beauty (long BLONDE hair-that doesn’t belong to her) and skin that she allows to be photoshopped in photo shoots to make people think her skin is lighter than it is. Not to mention that she sexualizes herself. I would expect nothing more than lip sync from someone who rejects who she is to be something that she isn’t.

    Comment by Lisa – January 22, 2013 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Check the facts, please–Kelly never endorsed Romney. She endorsed Ron Paul during the primaries, but then endorsed Obama during the election. (If you’re curious enough, she endorsed Obama because of the difference in opinions on gay marriage.)

      Comment by Meg – January 22, 2013 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m British, but I think that for any country in a moment of national significance, the national anthem should be sung live.

    Comment by Ben – January 22, 2013 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Exactly, she should have sung the song live. Maybe they should have had Kelly sing that song instead.

      Comment by Sookie – January 22, 2013 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sorry for saying this to you Whitney Houston fans, but Beyonce has more vocal range than Whitney did. Once Whitney got up to a high D or E-flat (which isn’t all that high) with “chest voice” she always had to sing straight-tone (no vibrato) because she couldn’t control it with vibrato. Beyonce can sing with vibrato up to a high F or G with “chest voice” and has a stronger “head voice” range than Whitney did above that. As far as style, I think Whitney’s career faded in part because she always sang everything with the same intensity, which was good, but still, gets tiring hearing the same thing all the time – not much variety. Beyonce has more variety to her style. I don’t think the lip syncing is that big a deal since it was cold outside (she still had to sing it the night before) – though I admire Kelly Clarkson for performing her vocal live. And I thought her rendition was quite good. Maybe a little disappointing that B didn’t chance it, but “Disgraceful?” I don’t think so…………….

    Comment by ram111 – January 22, 2013 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s no surprise Beyonce’ was tracking. Most acts do, the Eagles have been tracking harmonies for a long time. Usher, Britney, basically any one running around & hitting specific notes, not possible kids, Santa doesn’t exist either.

    Comment by Mark – January 22, 2013 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The moment was tarnished when Obama was reelected.

    Comment by jack – January 22, 2013 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Disappointing. She probably didn’t want to catch hate for messing up. But now she’s catching hate for faking it. She shoulda just sung it live. Couldn’t have been any worse than what Demi did at the World Series.

    Comment by bip – January 22, 2013 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The point is, she didn’t have to ACT like she was singing live.

    Comment by sandy – January 23, 2013 01:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If it was ‘just’ a song she lip-synced then fair enough I guess, but it’s the national anthem which is especially important to Americans.
    I’m English and if an artist lip-synced at the Royal Variety performance, or at the beginning of a football or rugby match (we don’t tend to sing it as much over here) then it would be a sham.

    Your national anthem, no matter where your from is to show respect to the country you were born in

    Comment by James – January 23, 2013 07:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Obama is an illegitimate piece of crap and a fraud ans is everything related to him.

    Comment by Paolo – January 23, 2013 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was horrible. She hacked it up , added too many notes that did not improve on the original, and sounded hollow. She addaed her idea of “bling” to what should have been a great tradition. She managed to make it sound tacky.
    It was torture to hear her.

    The lip synching spared us the having to hear it live. If she sounded that bad on a recording the live performance would have been even worse. It was a cheap, embarrassing, farce.

    It was not befitting America but it was appropriate for the Obamas. She really represents them very well.
    She can redistribute her underwear and try to get her overinflated boobs both pointing forward. She managed to keep her legs together during the performance which for her was a major achievement. A few more notes and the whole country would beg for the closest fiscal cliff we could find.

    Comment by Laurel – January 23, 2013 10:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t believe Beyonce lip synched, bcuz why would she take out the ear piece to hear herself better, you white people are just mad because she sang with way more “feeling” than that funny looking white chick Kelly Clarkson. Everybody knows that white people have been imitating us every since music was music, white folks have to be taught and us black people just have it naturally, you know rhythm? Elvis on down to your kelly clarkson of the world, we were born with a natural rhythm that you all have learned to imitate quite well, but you take everything and claim it for yourselves, even this country, that you stole from the “native americans”, remember the people who were here way before the pilgrims? I’m sorry I just call it like it is, and usually I speak the truth, but hey call me what you want to, I will always call it like it is!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Tammy Daniels – January 24, 2013 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am fans of both Kelly and Beyonce, I think Kelly’s singing was deeply moving and powerful. I did not get the same feeling from Beyonce, lip sync or not, it just wasn’t as moving. Kelly really made that song memorable and beautiful in a way I never viewed this song in before. I loved Kelly’s song how it started soft and built large to the end!! Nice job!!

    Comment by Marie – January 25, 2013 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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