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Beyoncé lip-synced The Star Spangled Banner at inauguration

The singer is considered one of the best, but decided to take no chances at President Obama’s second inauguration by recording the song in advance.


Beyoncé was one of the few lucky singers invited to perform at President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21.

Any singer would prepare for hours for the occasion, but it looks like Beyoncé prepared…in advance. According to sources, the singer pre-recorded her version of The Star Spangled Banner.

“Millions of viewers around the world were stunned by the singer’s spectacular rendition of the anthem but The [London] Times has learnt that she was lip-syncing to a pre-recorded backing track,” said Nico Hines, who is with the paper.

It looks like having a pre-recorded track ready is not out of the ordinary, but in the end, it was Beyonce’s decision not to sing the national anthem live.

“A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band said it was 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 at the Capitol,” Hines said.

The confirmation by The Times ends growing speculation since the ceremony that the singer was not actually singing live. In fact, even if she was, it looks like she wouldn’t have been singing with a live band.

“To close observers, it appeared the performer was not singing live,” said Sophie Gilbert with the Washingtonian. “To press seated just below the podium, in front of the ‘President’s Own’ Marine Corps Band, it was evident that the band wasn’t actually playing during the song — even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments. Separately, at one point during her performance, Beyoncé removed her earpiece.”

But it was Beyoncé herself who might have started the rumors, even before the ceremony.

“A hint as to the actual origins of the version Beyoncé sang came from her own hand: On January 20, the day before the ceremony, Beyoncé posted pictures to her Instagram account that appeared to show her in a recording studio,” Gilbert said.

“In one, she holds a copy of the sheet music to The Star Spangled Banner in front of a microphone attached to a recording device, and in another she sits in front of recording equipment while members of the Marine Corps Band stand clutching sheet music behind her.”

Beyoncé has not yet responded to the news.

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