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:
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 on the Capitol.
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.