Did Beyoncé Really Lip-Sync the National Anthem at Barack Obama’s Inauguration?

Beyoncé has proven time and time again that she can hold practically every note. After touring the world performing in front of live audiences, it’s no question the pop superstar can sing the house down as she’s been doing so for more than two decades.

But despite the Queen Bey’s incredible vocals, there was one time people questioned if she can really sing live, and that was after she gave the performance of a lifetime at President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration.

Beyonce | Mark Gail/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Beyoncé gave one of the most memorable presidential inauguration performances

Many famous musicians have performed at presidential swear-ins throughout the years, which is traditionally known to be an honor.

From Frank Sinatra to Elton John, the most prominent artists in the music industry have had the chance to attend and take center stage at the star-studded event that marks the beginning of a U.S. President’s time as the nation’s leader.

Though there have been hundreds of celebrity performances at presidential inaugurations over the years, only a few go down in history as the most memorable.

Among those performances is Beyoncé’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the swearing-in ceremony of Barack Obama in 2013.

Millions of people tuned in to watch the former President’s inaugural ceremony for his second term in office on January 21, 2013, which included performances by James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyoncé.

The Queen Bey’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the inauguration was considered one of the event’s highlights. Still, reports suggested that the singer didn’t actually sing live during the festivities, which ultimately caused a major controversy.

Many speculated the Beyoncé lip-synced her rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

Although the pop star blew both the crowd and viewers at home away with her rendition of the national anthem, her critically praised performance came under scrutiny less than a day later after many were convinced she sang over a backing track during the historic event.

Beyoncé | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Though fans defended the singer’s performance, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band said the Grammy-winner “was not actually singing” the national anthem, according to CNN.

Hours later, the band backed away from the spokeswoman’s remarks, releasing a statement that said the group was not in a position to know for sure.

They said in the 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.”

Beyoncé admitted to singing over a ‘pre-recorded’ track, but there was a reason why

Though she initially kept mum on the backlash surrounding her performance at President Obama’s second inauguration, Beyoncé eventually opened up about the lip-syncing controversy.

While speaking at a press conference for the Super Bowl XLVII, Bey set the record straight on her performance, admitting that she did have some help during the momentous occasion.


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She told reporters that she’s a “perfectionist” and — due to a lack of rehearsal time — “did not feel comfortable taking a risk.”

“It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry,” Beyoncé explained, per CBS News.

Even with all the backlash, Beyoncé expressed no regrets about her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of Capitol Hill.

“I’m very proud of my performance,” she said.

Still, she promised she would not be singing over a pre-recorded track during the Super Bowl halftime show.

“I will absolutely be singing live,” Bey said. “This is what I was born to do.”