Everyone is talking about it, but let’s not sell Beyoncé short. She is a pretty, well-packaged, glamorous hit-maker. Still, a great singer she is not. All of this was evident as she took the stage during the second Inauguration celebration for President Barack Obama. Surprisingly she sounded just as flawless as she looked. Watching her belt out the impassioned lines of the national anthem, suspicions started to grow that perhaps she wasn’t exactly singing live. These doubts were then confirmed by Kristin DuBois, a representative for the United States Marine Band, the group which musically backed the “singer.” DuBois told the New York Post that the band, “received last-minute word that Beyoncé was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know the reason why.”
If this were just another performance on SNL or something of that nature, perhaps this lip synching wouldn’t seem like such an egregious mistake. But this performance wasn’t for a late night sketch comedy show, it was for a nationally televised event that represented the President of The United States, and therefore the whole of America. Faking it for this kind of monumental and historical recital is just bad form.
While other singers like James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson clearly sung live, one has to ask why Beyoncé thought she was entitled to this type of special treatment, and why she thought she could fool all of us into thinking her vocals were real. Obviously she was there because she and her husband, rapper Jay Z, had been outspoken supporters of the Obama administration, but there are plenty of other more talented live singers that were in the democratic camp. For example, Barbara Streisand has backed the president and donated to his campaign yet this icon was visibly absent from the musical lineup at the Inauguration. All of this leads us to these two questions: 1. Who on earth was in charge of booking and planning this event? 2. What will her Super Bowl performance look like?