News that superstar Beyoncé may have lip-synced her performance at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration broke Tuesday, with media outlets offering contradicting reports on the controversy.
The answer has historical implications because it will determine if Beyoncé joins the pantheon of renowned fakers.
A Marine Corps Band representative said Beyoncé lip-synced the "Star Spangled Banner" to a pre-recorded track because there was no time for a rehearsal with the band. Another story reported the band members mimed playing their instruments along with the lip-syncing pop diva.
Later, the corps band reneged on the initial statements and spokesperson Capt. Gregory Wolf said that while the band's performance wasn’t live, he couldn’t assess whether Beyoncé's vocals were.
Regardless of what really happened, fans took to social networks to express strong opinions about the pop diva. However, Beyoncé's lip-syncing fiasco is far from the first performance to take heat.
Here are five famous lip-syncs:
Milli Vanilli on MTV
Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, better known as the infamous early '90s pop group Milli Vanilli, were found to be lip-syncing during a live MTV performance in 1989. The duo was performing their hit "Girl You Know It's True" when the track skipped and duo ran offstage. It was revealed later that the voices they were lip-syncing to weren’t even their own, and they were stripped of their Best New Artist Grammy award.
Ashlee Simpson on "Saturday Night Live"
Singer Ashlee Simpson's debut performance on "Saturday Night Live" in October 2004 went awry when she took the stage and a track for a different song played over the loudspeaker than the song she had rehearsed. Nervous, Simpson did a bizarre jig in the heat of the moment and later blamed the attempted lip-sync on a bad case of acid reflux.
Whitney Houston at the 1991 Super Bowl
Some have argued Whitney Houston's rendition of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills was the greatest performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" ever, but Houston's appearance has been clouded for years by lip-syncing accusations. Rumor has it that viewers at home heard a mixture of Houston's pre-recorded track and live vocals, while the audience at the game reportedly heard the taped version.
Lin Miaoke at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
At the Opening Ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, audiences fell in love with 9-year-old Lin Miaoke, as she gave an emotional performance of "Ode to the Motherland." News broke soon after that the girl had mouthed the words after event officials decided the real singer, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, was not cute enough.
Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration
Famed Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman committed the instrumental equivalent of lip-syncing with their performance of "Air and Simple Gifts" at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Perlman later told the New York Times that the song "would have been a disaster" if it had been live because of the freezing cold temperatures and extreme wind.
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