She has one of music’s most angelic voices but, for the first time, thanks to an inauguration lip-syncing scandal, the nearly angelic image that has followed music superstar Beyonce throughout her career is taking a hit.
No sooner had the inauguration balls ended than the post-inauguration buzz surrounding Beyonce’s star-spangled serenade in front of the first family and a worldwide TV audience was quickly overshadowed by questions of whether The Queen Bey really belted it out.
Beyonce, now reportedly in New Orleans rehearsing for next month’s Super Bowl, has remained mum on the debate, leaving the U.S. Marine Corps Band, who accompanied Monday’s inauguration performers, to do all the talking.
At first a spokesperson for the band told ABC News she did in fact lip-sync. Later Tuesday, a U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman said they are not “in a position to assess.”
Captain Kendra N. Motz, Media Officer of the U.S. Marine Band, said the Presidential Inaugural Committee requested they accompany Beyonce in her performance, but “there was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event.”
So why would a Grammy-winning, record-breaking artist like Beyonce risk going where Whitney Houston and others have gone before in lip-syncing during a live event?
Monday’s noon temperature of 40 degrees was three degrees above the average inauguration swearing-in temperature of 37, according to the Washington Post.
“Many musical artists complain about singing in cold weather because it hurts their vocal chords,” Matthew Belloni, executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter told ABC News. “She has to be concerned with something like that, so you’re not imperfect in front of the president.”
The band did play on, however, during the rest of the inauguration performances, including Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” a performance Clarkson’s rep confirmed to ABC News was live. James Taylor also braved the cold to play his guitar live.
Even as the allegations of Beyonce’s lip-syncing surfaced, the singer documented her performance online, posting photos from the inauguration on her Tumblr page and new blog, including what appears to be a recording session and dress rehearsal for her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
While stars like Ashlee Simpson and Milli Vanilli have seen their singing careers crumble after very public lip-syncing debacles, at least one Hollywood insider predicts Beyonce will emerge unscathed.
“Beyonce has been a public relations golden girl for all her career,” publicist-to-the-stars Michael Levine told ABC News. “This controversy won’t do anything to her image.”