Did she or didn’t she?
Speculation over whether Beyoncé lip-synched the national anthem during President Obama’s second inauguration has turned everyone into a pundit this week. Word that the beloved pop singer may have used a pre-recorded track for her performance came to light after a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band indicated that what we heard on Monday afternoon, was actually recorded on Sunday night.
The Marine Corp later recanted the spokeswoman’s statement, saying that although they did not play on Monday, they have no way of verifying whether or not Beyoncé actually sang it live or not. Capt. Gregory A. Wolf said the corps had decided against a live performance because the Marine Band didn’t have enough time to rehearse with Beyoncé.
Wolf added that as tradition, all music scheduled for performance during the inauguration is pre-recorded in case of freezing temperatures. At President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman pre-recorded their performance because low temperatures affected their instruments. In this case, as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin puts it, Beyoncé may have been trying to protect her own instrument; her voice.
“The weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather,” she told ABC News.
Though Franklin chose to do a live performance of My Country ‘Tis of Thee for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 live, she says she can understand Beyoncé’s reasoning. “She wanted her performance to be what she wanted to be and she realized it wasn’t going to be the way she wanted it to be or she was going to be running a risk.”
So tell us: where do you stand? Do you, like PEOPLE music critic Chuck Arnold, believe the national anthem is sacred and should be performed live? Or do you think it shouldn’t matter whether or not it’s sung live? Share you thoughts in the comments below.