Popstar credits it to weather, perfectionism, and a desire to make President Obama "proud;" says Super Bowl rehearsals got in the way of inauguration rehearsal...
After days of silence on the issue, pop superstar Beyoncé admitted on Thursday that she lip-synched the National Anthem during her performance at President Obama's second inauguration. Before speaking at a Super Bowl XLVII press conference in New Orleans, Beyoncé, 31, asked the gathered crowd to stand, then belted out the live version of the The Star-Spangled Banner that she didn't perform on Jan. 21. "Any questions?" the diva asked when she was finished. Of course: Beyoncé was asked by reporters to clarify whether or not she sang live before the crowd of close to one million gathered on the National Mall.
Beyoncé said she chose to sing along with a pre-recorded track of her own voice because she did not have enough time to rehearse with the US Marine Corps Band before the ceremony. She also said she did so because she is a "perfectionist," she had weather concerns, and she wanted to make President Obama "proud."
"I am a perfectionist,” Beyoncé said. "And one thing about me: I practice until my feet bleed. I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live television show and a very, very important, emotional show for me, one of my proudest moments. Due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make him and my country proud. So I decided to sing along with my prerecorded track."
She added that this practice "is very common in the music industry. I’m very proud of my performance."
Beyoncé also said that rehearsing for her Super Bowl performance got in the way of rehearsing for President Obama's inauguration.
"His inauguration was, unfortunately, at a time when I could not rehearse with the orchestra, actually, because I was practicing for the Super Bowl," Beyoncé said. "So it was always the plan."
Beyoncé, who helped raise millions of dollars for President Obama's re-election effort, had previously declined to comment on the inauguration performance, though a representative from the U.S. Marine Corps Band said in a statement after the ceremony that their musical accompaniment was pre-recorded, but did not say whether Beyoncé's performance was live. She has previously performed at the White House, invited to to sing at President Obama's State Dinner for Mexico in 2010.
Singers James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson, who both performed at the inauguration, sang live.
Before the lip-synching became a controversy, the superstar taking center stage at the second inaugural was already under fire from public health advocates,
thanks to Beyoncé's $50 million deal as the global spokesman for PepsiCo. Ahead of her performance, the White House disabled a petition posted to the We the People site that called for Beyoncé to be "disinvited" from the inaugural ceremony, saying the petition was a "violation of our Terms of Participation." The singer has partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama for the Let's Move! campaign, creating a song and dance routine, Move Your Body, that is the anthem for the national campaign.
In New Orleans, Beyoncé assured the world she won’t be lip-syncing this Sunday during her Super Bowl halftime appearance, during what is expected to be the largest TV viewing audience of the year.
"I will absolutely be singing live,” she said. “I am well-rehearsed and I will absolutely be singing live. This is what I was born to do, what I was born for."
The White House video of Beyoncé's inauguration performance:
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