Beyonce lip-synched the U.S. national anthem at President Obama's inauguration yesterday, according to reports.
The superstar, who was widely praised for her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” opted to use a pre-recorded track just before her performance, which took place on the steps of the Capitol building in front of the Obamas and an estimated 800,000 people, according to The Times of London.
A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band, who played behind her, stated it was standard procedure to record a backing track and that Beyoncé decided at the last minute to use it rather than risk singing live.
"We did pre-record it and it was Beyoncé’s decision at the last minute to go with the pre-recorded version," Kristen Dubois told the newspaper. "We pre-recorded all music as a matter of course and have done since time immemorial," she said. "This is our 54th inauguration... There is no question of there not being any music – it's not because the performer cannot do it."
Just prior to Beyonce's appearance, Kelly Clarkson sang "My Country Tis of Thee" and James Taylor played an acoustic version of "America The Beautiful."
It's still unclear why the Grammy winner chose not to sing live, but band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn reveals Beyonce only had one day to prepare for the gig since she has been busy rehearsing for the Super Bowl half-time show next month.
On Monday he told news website Buzzfeed, "As soon as we get information from the Presidential Inaugural Committee (about) who the guest artists are going to be, we make contact with them, find out how we can prepare arrangements that will really kind of flatter their voices - of course in the right key.
"We had Kelly (Clarkson) in over the weekend to rehearse and record. Beyonce, she's getting ready for the Super Bowl, so we didn't have a chance to do anything with her until last night."
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