Did or didn’t she? Beyonce questioned on lip sync

WASHINGTON — There’s no question Beyonce’s rendition of the national anthem was a roaring success. The mystery: was it live or lip synced?

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band told news outlets that Beyonce had lip synced at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Master Sgt. Kristin duBois said the band was notified at the last minute that Beyonce would use a pre-recorded voice track.

But by late afternoon, the Marine Corps backed off that statement.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said that because there was no opportunity for Beyonce to rehearse with the Marine Band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill advised. Instead they used a pre-recorded track for the band’s portion of the song.

“Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance,” Wolf’s statement continued, “no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.”

A representative for Beyonce did not respond to requests for comment.

DuBois declined to answer further questions. Earlier in the day, she told The New York Times that the rest of the inaugural performance was live and they did not know why a recorded track was used for the national anthem.

“It’s not because Beyonce can’t sing. We all know Beyonce can sing. We all know the Marine Band can play,” she said.

Kelly Clarkson’s representative said she sang live to perform “My Country, `Tis of Thee.”

All inaugural music is pre-recorded in case weather conditions or other circumstances could interrupt the program.

The use of a recording is typical in big events. In 2009, cellist Yo-Yo Ma was questioned about “hand-syncing” for Obama’s first inauguration. Ma said instruments weren’t functioning properly in 19-degree weather.

Even in good conditions, producing good sound can be a challenge in a large open space.

Some artists choose to lip-sync. Whitney Houston’s memorable performance of the national anthem in 1991 at the Super Bowl was sung to a track.

More in Local News

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Two from Oak Harbor killed in head-on, 2-car crash

One car crossed the center line, hitting the other car. Both drivers died.

Amtrak service from Seattle north unaffected by DuPont wreck

Sound Transit reported no disruptions for its Sounder commuter trains serving Edmonds and Seattle.

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Most Read