Move over, fake moon landing. Take a hike “Paul is dead” rumors. There’s a new conspiracy theory in town and it goes something like this: Did Beyonce lip-synch (gasp!) “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Monday’s Presidential Inauguration?
Only Beyonce and her microphone know for sure, but people familiar who were there are speaking out. The London Times reports that the Grammy-winner lip-synched to a pre-recorded backing track, an assertion that has since been confirmed by the Marine Corps band. (UPDATE: The band laterbacked off from that statement.)
From the London Times:
A spokeswoman for the Marine Corps band Kristen DuBois 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 on the Capitol.
The New York Post has the full quote from DuBois. “All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day,” she said. “We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know the reason why.”
Sergeant DuBois continued, “It’s not because Beyonce can’t sing. We all know Beyonce can sing. We all know the Marine band can play.”
Part of the reason may have been the weather. Singing in cold temperatures can be a challenge. However the chilly air didn’t stop Kelly Clarkson from belting out her own tune on Capitol Hill. The “American Idol” winner sang “My Country Tis of Thee” live.
A similar controversy (yes we’re using that word liberally) four years ago when cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perman had to fake their performance during Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Cold fingers and string instruments do not a good combination make.