Everyone take a deep breath. It has been confirmed that Beyonce was, in fact, lip-synching "The Star-Spangled Banner" at yesterday's inauguration ceremonies for President Obama, according to The London Times. The star's performance was praised by nearly every media outlet and Twitter was on fire with support for Bey—many even joked she was the most important part of the day.
Let's first say that singing along to a pre-recorded track isn't uncommon at inaugural ceremonies. At Obama's first inaugural ceremony in 2009, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman along with two colleagues performed with a backing track due to cold, windy weather.
But this is Beyonce, known for her beautiful voice and incredible range. According to Washingtonian, there are no previously known cases of lip-syncing the national anthem during an inaugural performance. We even saw her frantically remove her ear piece yesterday at the ceremonies.
Here's what the Washingtonian observed:
To press seated just below the podium, in front of the “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band, it was evident that the band wasn’t actually playing during the song—even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments.
Fans that follow Beyonce on Instagram also missed a few hints the day before. She posted two photos on the social media site—one of her with "The Star-Spangled Banner" sheetmusic in front of a mic equipped with a recording device, the other of her sitting at a table filled with recording devices and Marine Corps Band members standing behind her.
According to The London Times, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band said it was "standard procedure to record a backing track and Beyoncé decided rather shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version rather than singing it live on the Capitol."
Do you think this is why Joe Biden looked so disappointed? Sorry, this is a serious matter. No time for GIFs.
Update: The New York Post reports that the band did, in fact, perform live but that Beyonce used a pre-recorded track:
“All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day,” Kristin DuBois, a rep for the band tells Page Six. “We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know what the reason why.”
Additionally, BuzzFeed reports that Beyonce only rehearsed the day before the ceremonies:
Colonel Michael J. Colburn, the band director, told BuzzFeed yesterday that Beyoncé did not rehearse with the band until the night before the ceremony. "We had Kelly [Clarkson] in over the weekend to rehearse and record," he said. "Beyoncé, she's getting ready for the Super Bowl, so we didn't have a chance to do anything with her until last night so it's a very, very tight window of opportunity."