What So Proudly We Hailed at Beyoncé’s Lip Syncing . . .

220px-The_Star-Spangled_Banner_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_21566220px-Beyonce_Knowles_with_necklacesRemember the moving rendition of the National Anthem by Beyoncé at the Inaugural? Not only does it now appear that she lip synced but it took a British newspaper to uncover the truth. The Times is reporting that the spokesperson for the Marine Corp Band Kristen DuBois confirmed that Beyoncé did a Milli Vanilli with the National Anthem.

The Marine Corp Band said that it was standard procedure to record a backing track but Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version. Even the band then faked the performance to complete the false image.

Frankly, I have a serious problem with that decision particularly when all of the other artists gave live performances. This is an historic event that demands authenticity. We were not showing up to see Beyoncé. We were sharing a common experience celebrating the transition of power in a democracy. It was a shared and live experience. Instead, we got Beyoncé lip synching. Rather than producing a symbolic moment of shared patriotism, it now supplies a symbolic moment of celebrity self-indulgence or, worse yet, how much of our government presents a false image to the public. It suggests that it is not the substance but the appearance that is offered the public. I suppose we should be grateful that she did not decide to upgrade to a tape of Kate Smith.

I am not sure why she was given the choice since I assume the back up is needed for emergencies. The Marine Corp should have refused and the person responsible for going along with the lip synching should face some serious questions of judgment. This is a rare honor for any artist and I consider Beyoncé’s decision to be quite insulting. What do you think?

Source: The Times

72 thoughts on “What So Proudly We Hailed at Beyoncé’s Lip Syncing . . .

  1. That was the first time I have ever heard that broad sing and will be the last I hope. Her singing stinks to high heavens and so did that of the blonde woman, Kelly somebody. Likewise for Mr. Taylor. If he ever had a voice it’s long gone. Since it was lip syncing for Bey once one would think she would be sure that it sounded better.

  2. There is nothing truly authentic about these events. All of the speeches are filled with “spin” and half-truths at best and the real oaths for both Obama and Biden were taken yesterday – this whole even was only for show. How is that different than what Beyonce did?

  3. Perhaps she’s saving herself for the Super Bowl

    Poor decision to fake it at the Inaugural without an explanation when the praise started pouring in … just another ego without brains. Betcha Pepsi ain’t too happy either.

  4. This is an historic event that demands authenticity. -JT

    One would think…, but:

    Life in American is about smoke and mirrors, illusions, cover-ups, lies, etc…., so it’s perfect really.

    ” We were sharing a common experience celebrating the transition of power in a democracy.”

    I used to believe that, as well…

    (Would there be a Stasi-like apparatus in “a democracy”…, because we’ve got one.)

  5. I agree it represents a fraud, but I can’t get overly worked up about it because fraud is simply what I’ve come to expect. It’ll provide a couple of he said/she said moments for the press but, in the end, the Amercan sheeple will give her a big thumbs up. Just because, you know, she’s Beyonce. Whatever that means. It’s a phoney name so why should we expect more.

    In the more general sense, I have been against lip syncing since the 50’s on American Bandstand, and all the other ‘star’ shows that cameoed all those singers. But they at least had the excuse that they couldn’t reproduce on the small budget TV programs the full complement of performers that it took to create the sound in the studio — basically all you got what the star singer out front. But my attitude was, like, why bother, I could just listen to the record and not be duped by the rest of it. But I doubt budget constraints were a factor in miss Beyonce’ — now is that like her first or last name, or some combination? — performance.,

  6. It suggests that it is not the substance but the appearance that is offered the public
    I am having a difficult time not ascribing this to some politicians as well.

    It is an insult. If there was a true emergency the public would understand. This on the other hand conveys, at least to me, that her own vanity was more important than this historic event and tribute to the president.

    But then again why am I complaining. I remember an official July 4th celebration in DC one year which Seasame Street characters singing “I Love Trash” . I love trash, a poor choice to celebrate our nation’s independence.

    Maybe it is high time to dispense with the celebrity worship at these ceremonies and bring in other very capable anonymous artists so we can celebrate in the occasion and not the personalities.

  7. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. There is not much difference between Hollywood and Washington these days. Both are filled with the fake and the phony. And we have become complacent to these actions.

    As far as Beyonce, I’ve never been a fan, but lost total respect for her and her elitist husband after the birth of their child and the way they treated the “lowly” regular folk.


    Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce reportedly paid $1.3 million to the Lenox Hill Hospital, located on the upper East side of New York, to protect their privacy by sealing off a wing while their child came into the world.

    New parents were turned away by the artist’s security team from seeing their own newborns in the NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit).

    Neil Coulon, one of the parents, voiced his opinion to the NY Daily News, “This is the NICU. Nobody cares if you’re a celebrity. Nobody is star-gazing. They just want to see their children,” Coulon’s wife gave birth by C-Section to two premature girls just Wednesday.

    Coulon is furious with the way he was treated and wants an apology.

    The famous duo’s baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter, arrived on Sunday.

    Who’s at fault here? The hospital for accepting such a donation and hurting other new parents in the interim? Perhaps the couple should have elected to bring their new daughter into the world in a more private manner. Weren’t they attempting to deter the extra attention from the media?

    Perhaps in a public apology to these parents, Jay-Z will recommend they simply “Go and brush their shoulders off”.  After all, he is the “best rapper alive”, or so he claims.

  8. I am intrigued.
    Is the objection on superficialities?

    A singer lip-syncing their own voice singing is felt to be fake.

    A politician delivering a speech manufactured and polished by group-think is somehow genuine.
    I wasn’t entirely joking when I said that Obama lip-synced.
    He might as well have done.

    Maybe if he broke from the script and said “This time I really really want to shut down Gitmo, because it’s a stain on the nation” or “This time we’re going to prosecute torturers rather than the people who blow the whistle on wrong-doing.”….. That sort of thing would have been genuine.
    How about “We drone-killed some more civilians today, but hey, sh*t happens.
    At it was, he was just singing a song.

  9. As an atheist, I decided to skip the inaugural church service. Why don’t you speak out about that instead? “So help me invisible man in the sky.”

    Btw, is there a conspiracy theory yet that the Jumbotron was sabotaged by some conservative contractor so no one could hear the President’s speech? Maybe Beyonce was just ahead of their game…

  10. Why didn’t she use a better recording if she was gonna lip sync? I didn’t think it was that great. I understand why Beyonce was chosen as she has done a ton for the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to help stop our epidemic of childhood obesity (see “Move Your Body” video here http://youtu.be/mYP4MgxDV2U) BUT there is NO excuse for lip syncing at a Presidential inauguration ceremony. Bad Move, B.

  11. “A singer lip-syncing their own voice singing is felt to be fake.

    A politician delivering a speech manufactured and polished by group-think is somehow genuine.”~SlingTrebuchet
    very astute, and true, but that said, when performers do this there is usually a good reason…in the past, the frigid temps have been cited….but honestly, I couldn’t care less…it was her voice at the end of the day and Kelly Clarkson impressed me with her range….it’s not so much about them after all….they are the entertainment, not the main event…

  12. JT:

    “We were not showing up to see Beyoncé. ”


    Presidents come and Presidents go but Beyonce’? Now that’s a national treasure. It’s not lost on me that almost invariably generations of ancient leaders pass into obscurity while their art somehow survives. Maybe that says something about cosmic worth if I might wax just slightly poetic.

  13. I am with Mespo on this one. She probably didn’t feel comfortable singing it live and went with the lip sync. I didn’t watch the inauguration to see or hear her sing.

  14. rafflaw:

    Don’t worry. I am even now conducting a scrupulous, enlarged optical examination of the video to determine the synchronization of morphemes to oral movements. No need to thank me.

  15. We live in Emerald City. Find Dorothy and let us pull back the curtain. Every thing is programmed. Everything is fake. “Pretty Vacant”, if you ask me. Over and out.

  16. Richard Faust:

    Welcome to reality where everything is fake or absurd. Who can hate the French after Camus and Sarte’?

  17. Well at least we didn’t have Roseanne Barr doing it this time…..

    When a politicians lips move you know they are lying…. So now…. We know she’s no different…

  18. AY:

    “Well at least we didn’t have Roseanne Barr doing it this time…..”


    Ah, the perfect example of the fake and absurd. Congratulations!

  19. “Now that was a woman who never needed auto tune”

    It’s interesting. There are singers who can produce good sound even acapella. And there are those who need to be supported and even to have their ‘sound’ manipulated electronically to be acceptable. The first are artists of the most natural sort. The second may or may not have much talent, or not as great as the milieu they aspire to, but are created. I imagine that there are attributes to Ms Beyonce talent and popularity that go beyond the sound that is produced. I once had a client who would go apoplectic simply imagining those tangential attributes.

  20. Just to clarify, JT’s incorrect Milli Vanilli statement. Milli Vanilli were lipsyching someone else’s singing and passing it off as their own. Not quite the same as lipsynching your own voice.

    “…their Grammy was revoked after it was revealed by Chuck Philips of the LA Times that the lead vocals on the record were not the actual voices of Morvan and Pilatus.” ~ Wikipedia

  21. Beyonce was probably paid ten times the average American’s annual wages for this gig, not to mention being right up there on the podium with the Prez. Then, she blows it by lip-synching. The BEST thing that could happen would be to cut her off from performing at the SB. It would serve her (and JAY-Z) right for those shenanigans. BTW, since when does a couple (even if they have paid a great deal of money — 1.3 mill — so what) prevent other moms and dads from seeing their respective babies in a Neo-Natal ICU (NICU) because Beyonce’s baby was in there –talk about chutzpah … guess they figure they are in that proverbial 1% now, eh ???

    PS — I thought Kelly Clarkson was outstanding — no lip-synch there that I have heard about …

  22. Anon851:

    “Beyonce was probably paid ten times the average American’s annual wages for this gig, not to mention being right up there on the podium with the Prez. ”


    Like my old O-Line coach told us one blisteringly hot summer day in Virginia’s Piedmont as we were grousing about all the hard grunt work while the quarterbacks were sipping water and chattin’ up the cheerleaders over on the bleachers, “If you guys think you can throw the ball fifty yards head on over to the coolers.” That shut us up.

    Talent is talent and is always in high demand.

  23. I’m OT as it is the larger issue, that I have not the energy to follow.
    Here will do as the freshest place.

    Here is my letter to the Prez. Refused by the illegible (now) spam test.
    Probably best. My head, as all of ours, rests lightly on my shoulders.

    Hoping to return. JT’s blawg was mentioned. Just so you know.

    “Mr President,

    I have written many times, approvingly and most often critically.

    I have done so in the conviction that an old man would not be stricken by investigation or injustice for criticizing, which is a basic right in the Constitution.

    Now after the death of Aaron Swartz, I do not dare any longer. My faith was shaken by his persecution, the pure vengance wrought on a man who would lead us not only with words, but actions enabling our exercise of use of the internet and other avenues and methods of communication and informing ourselves.

    I have listened to your inaugural address with close attention to what you say in it, compared with what was done in your previous term of office, especially in view of your measures directly opposed to the Constitution that you swear to uphold. The promises you strew now, and the little you have delivered of benefit to the 98% versus your legal obligation to prosecute for war crimes or for the obvious fraud by the banksters.

    I did not learn this as sound bites to recite by rote. No, they are after hard study on the internet, primarily at the JonathanTurley.org blawg. The free internet, which the USA has tried to recapture with SOPA, was defended by Aaron Swartz. SOPA was defeated. And now your AG suppresses the use of internet, now a world treasure, under the cover of law, using phrases not applicable in the internet world (authorization),and by prosecutorial practices of overcharging. That is your Justice Department which does that. Your AG Holder.

    What about the rest?, you may ask. Well, that list of the contradictions of your deeds compared with those promised in your speech on inauguration day are too numerous to find space here.

    You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
    Nor even most of the people, most of the time.

    With no expectations of betterment I bid you good luck. All of your citizens will need it.
    Especially the 98 percent.

  24. Marine Band Backs Off Beyonce Lip-Syncing Statement

    “WASHINGTON — There’s no question Beyonce’s rendition of the national anthem was a roaring success. The mystery: was it live or lip synced?

    On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band told news outlets that Beyonce had lip synced at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Master Sgt. Kristin duBois said the band was notified at the last minute that Beyonce would use a pre-recorded voice track.

    But by late afternoon, the Marine Corps backed off that statement.

    Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said that because there was no opportunity for Beyonce to rehearse with the Marine Band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill advised. Instead they used a pre-recorded track for the band’s portion of the song.

    “Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance,” Wolf’s statement continued, “no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.”

    A representative for Beyonce did not respond to requests for comment.”


  25. Saw that, Gene. So it’s now ‘no comment’. Wow, this Ms Beyonce lady sure has some clout. Or just friends in high places?

    “pre-recorded track” of the band. Yeah, like the Marine Band is likely to be unreliable so they need a tape. What a crock. That band can play exactly to time, as may be the implication, or take hand directions from the director to shape a particular performance. No, it’s not the Marine band that’s unreliable.

  26. Eugh. Who cares? You’re giving her more attention than is necessary. Is this really the most interesting thing about the inauguration?

  27. POOOOOOSSSSSER! she had to represent. That is pretty bad when a monarchy has more liberty than a free nation to report the truth about whats happening in it’s own nations capital. liberality check is in the mail.

  28. Blouise,

    I have to agree. She’s stunningly beautiful and she can act a little, but I’ve never been impressed with her voice. Same goes for hubby’s music. He’s got a couple of tunes I like and “99 Problems” ain’t one of ’em, but most of it is real ordinary in a musical sense. I like him better when he collaborates with others or as a producer. What isn’t ordinary though are his marketing skills and business acumen which he shares with his wife. Jay-Z is a genius marketer and he always seems to get the sweet deal in an industry known (as you well know) to chew people up and spit them out.

  29. Dear Mespo,

    Your coach was right — talent is talent …

    Sounds like Beyonce did not use any yesterday — no matter how much people think of her.

    The USMC has somewhat backed off their original premise — only that they were unsure whether she lip-synced or not …. Nothing definitive.

    Unfortunately, for Beyonce the seeds of doubt have not been replaced by the Corp’s statement … And thus we are left with the premise that she took a pass on the world’s proverbially biggest stage — why? — because she was a wee bit cold …. She should have talked with Kelly who was excellent as I said .. Too bad … No matter what she does going forward, this will always linger when it could have been an ace in the hole.

  30. Gene H:

    ” She’s stunningly beautiful and she can act a little, but I’ve never been impressed with her voice.”


    I am fairly Keatsian when it comes to Beyonce’:

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its lovliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
    Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
    From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
    Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
    For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
    With the green world they live in; and clear rills
    That for themselves a cooling covert make
    ‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
    Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
    And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
    We have imagined for the mighty dead;
    An endless fountain of immortal drink,
    Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
    ~John Keats

    and of course:

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    What we do without poetry?

  31. Gene,

    I wish her no ill for it wasn’t an easy gig, and it is, as you suggested, very unusual to find her in the middle of a PR nightmare.

    As Anon851 noted: ” … this will always linger when it could have been an ace in the hole.”

    Somebody talked who shouldn’t have but that is part of the business.

  32. I can’t believe the amount of brain power wasted on this non-issue. Let me know when Obama has her arrested under the NDAA as a terrorist…

  33. Blouise,

    Came to realize last night that the koura-instrument in malinesian music can do an representation of the classic/baroque trio. Basso continuo, middle instrument following it, with the highest strings completely free to improvise.
    Google Diabete or look here. No answer needed.

    After the instruction and demo video automatically follows live takes with among others Ali Fark Touré, now deceased. Ali was so revered that he was elected mayor of his town. But skit in that, The music, the music.

    Try this for a demo of Ethiopian version of Aretha Franklin, Makeke is her name and has been performing for 40 years in USA.

    And now back to Beyoncé.

  34. I saw about ten or fifteen seconds of it when I walked through the living room on the way to the coffeepot in the kitchen. Y’know what. Sounded fine when not watching, and she is attractive when you are. Otherwise, I don’t really care if she lip synced to the Vienna Boys Choir.

    The American news media in a nutshell = “Oh look, a shiny new thing over there.”

  35. Who cares? Seriously. This was a pretty important day, she easily could have choked and screwed it up like that self-important Roberts did 4 years ago. The poutrage about that would have been epic.

    So she played it safe and nobody would have known if nobody had said anything. And it would not have made an iota of difference. It just does not matter.

  36. “The Marine Corp Band said that it was standard procedure to record a backing track but Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version. Even the band then faked the performance to complete the false image.”

    They call them music videos.

  37. Too bad Adele isn’t friends of the FLOTUS like Beyonce. There would have been no horseshit lip synching and that girl can sing!!

  38. Maybe this got lost in the dog translation. But what does the sink have to do with this story? Was she standing on the lip of a kitchen sink when she sang the song?
    And another thing. What is it about her name here? Is it Be Younce? Is Beyonce a first name or last name or a dog name given to a human?

  39. The problem with recordings now is the auto tune function. they can ‘fix’ any missed note on the computer.
    No need to strive or develop with this modern recording technology. that is why I like to see and hear live performances- no damn auto tune!

  40. Seriously, who gives a rat’s behind????!! Prof. Turley, aren’t there more important things to discuss this week??
    Magginkat, are you kidding me?? James Taylor still is the best!

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