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. “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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. I think the whole thing is just a pain in the ace distraction for everyone involved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. “liberality check is in the mail.” 😀

    Not only that, but sure I’ll still respect you in the morning. 🙄

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Gene,

    Hilarious back tracking. Beyoncé has talent alright, but it ain’t in the voice box.

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

  15. 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.

  16. nice post idealist.

    Damn this media, Gene H. I really did think she sang it live, but wth?

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