A 'Banner' day for a lip-sync debate
Posted January 23, 2013
Did she or didn't she? The Marines first say she did, then say just as firmly they don't know. And Beyoncé isn't saying anything at all.
One day after celebrating President Obama's second inauguration with the rituals of democracy, people were talking instead about whether Beyoncé's powerful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at the swearing-in was actually a marvel of lip-syncing to a prerecording.
The President's Own United States Marine Band, the 212-year-old military musical institution that plays for all of America's important national occasions, did not play live - that much is clear and confirmed by the band and by the U.S. Marine Corps. Instead, the band stood and pretended to play as Beyoncé performed.
Tuesday morning, band spokeswoman Master Sgt. Kristin DuBois confirmed to USA TODAY and other news organizations that the band wanted to play but that for unknown reasons, Beyoncé opted to lip-sync to the recording. Such prerecordings are standard for all such important public events and have been employed at past inaugurations, including Obama's first in 2009.
But by Tuesday evening, Dubois' comments were inoperative, and higher-ups in the Marines Corps had intervened, issuing a statement that "no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether (Beyoncé's singing) was live or prerecorded."
The official explanation: Because the Marines Corps band did not have the chance to rehearse with Beyoncé, 31, before the ceremonies, "it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event."
The White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee had no comment. Neither did Beyoncé's spokeswoman, Yvette Noel-Schure.
The band did play live for everything else during the ceremonies, including Kelly Clarkson's version of My Country, 'Tis of Thee.
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