It was the news heard round the world, or at least the twittersphere: Beyoncé lip-synched her stunning rendition of the National Anthem at President Obama‘s inauguration on Monday. Now, other pop stars are responding, with 2009 inauguration singer Aretha Franklin saying she “cracked up” upon hearing the news. Will news of Beyonce’s lip synching damage her professional reputation?
Beyonce’s decision to lip-synch apparently came at the last minute, with the Marine Corps Band asked to mime their performance. “We all know Beyonce can sing,” band leader Kristin duBois told ABC News. “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.”
Cold temperatures make singing very difficult. Video from the platform after Beyonce’s performance shows Kelly Clarkson, who sang (live!) earlier in the ceremony, mouthing the words “It’s so hard!” to Beyonce.
Stephen Tyler gave Beyonce a pass, for the most condescending reason ever: ”Beyonce’s so hot she can do anything. Let’s just get real.” Ugh. Jennifer Lopez was also understanding, telling Jon Stewart, “Sometimes it happens when you are in certain stadiums and certain venues and things, they do prerecord stuff because you’re going to have that terrible slapback.” She pointed out that Whitney Houston‘s Super Bowl anthem was taped in advance, and it still became a huge hit.
But it’s not clear that other singers are as sympathetic to Beyonce’s decision. “When I heard the news this evening that she was pre-recorded I really laughed,” Franklin told ABC. “I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather. When I heard that I just really cracked up. I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record.” Aretha said she never even considered lip-synching when she was asked to perform the anthem at President Obama’s first inauguration ceremony in 2009. “I wanted to give people the real thing and pre-recording never crossed my mind.” That is cold, Aretha!