The question remains: Did Beyoncé Knowles lip-sync the "Star Spangled Banner" at Monday's presidential inauguration? The answer has been muddled by conflicting statements from representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps Band which was playing or not playing the national anthem while the pop diva did whatever she did.
A spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band, Master Sgt. Kristin duBois, told media outlets on Tuesday that Beyoncé lip-synced to a pre-recorded track, and that the band was notified last minute, according to The Associated Press.
A Washington Post report
said another unnamed Marine band source confirmed early Tuesday that the musicians mimed playing their instruments.
By late afternoon Tuesday, the Marine Corps Band backed off comments about Beyoncé's performance, making a vague statement that there was no opportunity for her to rehearse with the band, at which point, the band decided a live instrumental performance was ill-advised. Still, the statement dodged confirmation of Beyoncé's alleged lip-syncing.
"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," Capt. Gregory Wolf said in a statement obtained by the AP.
In the past, the band taped performances with inaugural singers to use as backup in case of freezing weather or failing equipment, a Marine spokesperson said.
Kelly Clarkson's representative told the AP that the first-ever "American Idol" star performed "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" live at Monday's event.
Beyoncé, along with her rapper-turned-entrepreneur husband Jay-Z, was a major supporter of Obama in both of his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Beyoncé previously performed at the 2008 inauguration ball before the first family, where she sang the late Etta James' "At Last."
Her fans have been circling the wagons since Monday's performance.
On his Tuesday night television show, CNN host Anderson Cooper defended Beyoncé against what some outlets are referring to as "lip sync-gate."
"I respond with a big star spangled so what?" Cooper said. "We got to look at Beyoncé's beautiful face and hear Beyonce's beautiful voice singing the national anthem. There is only one thing we should say and that is thank you."
Neither inaugural organizers nor representatives for Beyoncé responded to request for comment, the AP said.
Beyoncé's next major performance will be Sunday, Feb. 3, before millions of Americans at the Super Bowl XLVII's halftime show. The big game will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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