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Confirmed: Beyoncé Lip-Synched National Anthem at Inauguration Ceremony

January 22, 2013

By Cynthia Herbert :: 12:02 PM

Singer Beyonce records national anthem for inauguration ceremonySinger Beyoncé performed the national anthem at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony for President Obama’s second term, and quickly received overwhelming praise on the performance. However, there were some present who quickly took to social media to say that they believed the performance was pre-recorded, and the star was lip-synching the words.

Now, it looks like the Twitter rumors are true. The “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band, was not playing their instruments during the song, despite the director, Michael Colburn conducting and waving his baton. Also, at one point during the performance, Beyoncé fiddled with, and then removed her ear piece.

The Times of London has confirmed with the band that they indeed did not play at the ceremony to back up the singer. A spokesperson for the band told the Times that this is “standard procedure to record a backing track, and Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version rather than risk singing it live on the Capitol.”

There were clues on social media that lead many to believe this to be the case before the Times confirmed it. One day before the ceremony, on January 20th, Beyoncé posted pictures to Instagram that showed her in a recording studio. In one snapshot, she was holding a copy of the music for “The Star Spangled Banner” next to a microphone, and in another picture she sits next to some recording equipment while some musicians from the Marine Corps Band are nearby holding sheet music. See photo above.

Playing along to a pre-recording isn’t a new thing at the inaugural ceremony. During Obama’s 2009 inauguration, cold temperatures and windy conditions lead to cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman performing a pre-recorded version of their tune. However, there are no previously known cases of a performer lip-syncing the national anthem during an inaugural ceremony.