Beyonce causes lip-synching stir after singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of hundreds of thousands of people in Washington for U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration.
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 21, 2013) (POOL) - Never mind President Barack Obama's inauguration address or what Michelle Obama was wearing at the ball.Was Beyonce lip-synching the U.S. national anthem on Monday (January 21), or wasn't she?
The Grammy-winning singer remained silent on Tuesday (January 22) amid a media storm over whether she was lip-synching, singing over her own pre-recorded track, or performing live when she delivered a flawless version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to hundreds of thousands of people in Washington and millions watching on television.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine band first told U.S. news outlets on Tuesday that the "Single Ladies" star "decided to go with the pre-recorded music at the last minute" and that, to the spokeswoman's knowledge, she was not actually singing the anthem.
But the U.S. Marine band later backtracked, saying in a statement: "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
The statement said the band and Beyonce, whose surname is Knowles-Carter, had no chance to rehearse together before Monday's 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 Marine Band added.
Beyonce, 31, was giving her first major public performance since giving birth to a baby with husband, rapper Jay-Z, in January 2012. On Sunday, she posted on Instagramphoto of herself in a recording studio holding the sheet music for "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Her representatives did not return calls for comment on Tuesday. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed at the inauguration ceremony, both sang live, their publicists said.
Whatever Beyonce's choices on Monday, she was not the first artist cause a stir on such occasions.
Classical musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two others played along to a pre-recorded tape at Obama's 2009 inauguration because the cold and wind on theWashington Mall raised the potential of broken strings and sharp notes.
Madonna lip-synched her way through her 2012 Super Bowl half-time performance last year, as did the late Whitney Houston in her 1991 Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem. Singing to pre-recorded tracks has become widespread in the pop music industry
The lip-synching question made headlines around the world and "Beyonce" was among the top Facebook conversations on Monday, according to the social networking site.
Many fans didn't seem to mind.
"Lip-synch or not... It was wonderful," said Rose Washington, a Florida resident who attended the inauguration ceremony. "It's not a big deal to me. I don't think she did, because I was there, I listened, the notes she hit were absolutely unbelievable. If she lip-synched, it was her own voice."
Torrey Veloz, who was visiting Washington from California, said it didn't really matter.
"I know she can sing so I don't think it was bad that she was lip-synching. Maybe it's just because they don't want to mess it up, because of the inauguration," she said.
Mark Patterson, who was visiting from Florida agreed. "It was wonderful, it just felt really nice so, no, I don't really care. But, I hope it was real," he said.
Beyonce is due to take the spotlight again next month - this time at the Feb. 3 Super Bowl half-time show.