Did Beyonce Lip-Sync the 'Star-Spangled Banner' at the Inauguration?

Pop star used pre-recorded music for national anthem at outdoor ceremony.

ByABC News
January 22, 2013, 12:36 PM

Jan. 22, 2013— -- Say it ain't so, B.

Did Beyonce lip-sync the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Monday's inaugural ceremonies? A U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman says 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."

"Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances," Motz said in a statement. "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."

Read About Criticism From Beyonce's 2009 Inaugural Performance Here

However, earlier today another spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps band told ABC News she did in fact lip synch.

"We all know Beyonce can sing," Master Sgt. of the U.S. Marine Band Kristin duBois told ABC News today. "We all know the Marine Corps Band can play. We do not know why she decided to go with the pre-recorded music at the last minute."

DuBois later added that, to her knowledge, Beyonce was not singing. It was Beyonce's voice, but a pre-recorded version heard by about a million people in Washington and millions more on television.

A representative for Beyonce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The band was not playing while Beyonce was singing, duBois added, but it was live during the rest of the performances, including Kelly Clarkson's rendition of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." The band was asked not to play for only the national anthem, duBois added.

Clarkson could be seen signaling to Beyonce after the national anthem performance and appeared to mouth the words, "It's so hard."

Clarkson spokeswoman Meghan Kehoe of RCA Records also confirmed to ABC News that "Kelly did sing live," but said she could not confirm whether Clarkson and Beyonce discussed the situation.

James Taylor, another performer at the cold, outdoor inauguration ceremony, Monday said he was happy to get through his performance "without any train wrecks."

"It's always hard for a guitar player to play when it's cold because your hands sort of stiffen up and you know nerves tend to do that to you anyway. So I was, you know, very relieved to have gotten to it without any major train wrecks," he told George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.

The issue surfaced today when Washingtonian magazine first reported that it didn't seem as though "The President's Own" United States Marine Band was playing during Beyonce's rendition.

The pop star, 31, seemed to have audio issues at one point during the song, pulling out her ear piece.

DuBois said she did not know why Beyonce took the ear piece out.

The Washingtonian also noted that Beyonce posted an Instagram photo of herself in a recording studio holding a copy of the sheet music to the "Star-Spangled Banner." It's not the first time for synced music at an Obama inauguration. In 2009, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the violinist Itzhak Perlman, because of cold and wind, did not play the version of John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" that was projected onto the Mall.

Monday's noon temperature of 40 degrees was 3 degrees above the average inauguration swearing-in temperature of 37, according to the Washington Post.

This story has been updated.