While Beyonce hasn’t yet made an official statement on the heated discussion over her “Star-Spangled Banner” performance at the presidential inauguration on Monday, one report says she didn’t think using a pre-recorded track would be a problem.
“She didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” a Beyonce source told Us Weekly. “Pavarotti has done it! It was freezing out, and if she messed up just one note, that would have been the story.”
The source reportedly added that “the music director advised it,” further explaining, “She did sing, but used a track.”
Beyonce’s apparent performance choice has caused a number of musicians to rally around her in the last two days.
“I will say this, it’s not the first or the last time that someone has had to lip-sync,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “My greatest singer of all time, Whitney Houston, it came to light that her anthem was in fact lip-synced.”
Aretha Franklin, who sang at the 2009 inauguration, told ABC, “The weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers, that is just not good singing weather.” She added that she’d probably use the method herself the next time.
“The one thing that you cannot doubt is that she can sing. She absolutely can sing,” Alicia Keys, also a performer in the ceremonial weekend, told the UK’s Capital FM. All the rest of the ‘whys’ or ‘whatever,’ we know that she can deliver and she did deliver that song really beautifully.”
And Jennifer Lopez offered a technical possibility behind the decision on “The Daily Show” on Tuesday.
“Sometimes it happens,” she said. “When you’re in certain stadiums and in certain venues and stuff, they do pre-record things because you’re gonna have that terrible slapback.”
In an essay in Slate, musician Mike Doughty wrote that Beyonce may have been singing to a track, but she hadn’t been lip-syncing.
“It’s very easy to spot,” he wrote. “Beyonce either sang live, or she’s the most gifted lip-syncer in the history of humanity.”