I don’t think so – and here’s why:
Beyoncé Knowles has been accused of lip-syncing her way through her performance at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Monday. The star had the duty of singing the American national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. What an honour and there is no better person in my opinion to have than Beyoncé, to sing it.
The Halo singer does the anthem, and true to form, she nails it. On stage it looked like the star was having some issues with feedback or interference, so she removed her earpiece mid-set. She carried on like a true pro and in my opinion, it was the best version of the anthem I have ever witnessed. Then someone from the Marine Corps puts out a statement saying both the band and Beyoncé weren’t live and that the Grammy winner lip-synced her way through the song.
So here are a couple of questions for you:
- Do you care?
If you don’t care, that’s cool but I do. I’m an entertainment journalist, a lover of music and I admire and respect Beyoncé like no other.
- Is it a big deal?
Yes, it is a big deal. With a global audience focused on you for that performance and the trust the President has in you to sing the anthem, it is a big deal. While many artists don’t sing their songs live (we know this), the one time an artist really shouldn’t lip-sync is during the national anthem. It is possibly the highest honour one can get and it means you have the talent to pull it off. It is also the one time you really get to show that talent off in a raw, but impressive way.
I can understand artists having a back-up recording available for a number of reasons; be it stage fright, forces of nature or being sick, but come on. This is Beyoncé, one of the greatest singers and performers of our time.
So the big question then is did she or didn’t she? I really don’t believe she did. I’ve watched the clip a number of times and it looks clean to me. Sure, she had a bit of a hiccup with her earpiece and it sounds like there’s a bit of an echo or some feedback (maybe the recording), but she really looks to be singing – and well. If she did lip-sync, it is by far the best lip-syncing performance I have ever seen in my life. The famous Beyoncé-isms were there and it was a well rehearsed and flowed really nicely. It was incredible.
There is no official statement from Beyoncé’s peops, but E! Online has a statement from the US Marine Corps Media Officer. Read it here. So there you have it, I don’t believe she lip-synced, but I guess time will tell.