Beyoncé's flawless performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" was one of the highlights of Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony Monday morning. Viewers watched in awe as the 31-year-old singer even pulled out her earpiece mid-way through the song without missing a beat.
But according to Tuesday reports from Washingtonian and The Times of London, Beyoncé lip-synced her way through a pre-recorded version of the national anthem, while the U.S. Marine Corps band pretended to play their instruments [UPDATE: The New York Post debunked reports that the band didn't play live].
The Times' Nico Hines wrote:
In the days prior to her performance, Beyoncé shared a photo of herself in what appeared to be a recording studio with members of the Marine Corps Band.
CNN's Jim Acosta confirmed the Times' report over Twitter:
CNN has confirmed Times of London report that Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem during #inaug2013— Jim Acosta (@jimacostacnn) January 22, 2013
Watch it again to decide for yourself:
Here's audio of Beyonce's sound check before the ceremony for idea of how she might have sounded singing live on inauguration day.
Kristin Dubois, a representative for the U.S. Marine Corps band, told the New York Post denied reports that the band only pretended to play.
“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 what the reason why," Dubois said.