Everyone is shocked to find out that Beyoncé lip-synched the National Anthem during President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony. Sure, it’s slightly disappointing to be duped after thinking the flawless performance we saw was live; however, we shouldn’t be that surprised.
In fact, she’ll most likely be lip-synching (at least part of) her Super Bowl halftime performance as well.
In no way are we endorsing lip-synching and saying it’s completely fine to do; however, the “Run the World” singer isn’t the first to lip-sync a pre-recorded version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and most certainly won’t be the last.
Since the early ’90s, it’s become more commonplace for singers to perform with pre-recorded music, especially when performing the National Anthem, in order to prevent anything outside of perfection in their routines.
In the past few years, Jennifer Hudson lip-synched the anthem at the 2009 Super Bowl, Britney Spears has done it at Circus concert performances, and there was even speculation that Aretha Franklin lip-synched the anthem at a Lakers game in 2004.
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Though live performances such as Britney’s are more questionable – fans are dishing out a lot of money expecting a live performance – the Super Bowl requires performers submit backup tracks a week before showtime, a prerequisite that has been in place since 1993. Pregame show producer Rickey Minor told the Associated Press in 2009 he asked that both Hudson and Faith Hill sing the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful” respectively using tracks they submitted.
“That’s the right way to do it,” said Minor. “There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”
In the past few years, we’ve seen “glitches” ranging from Christina Aguilera during the 2011 Super Bowl and Jesse McCartney’s verse-skipping rendition at a Nascar event in 2009.
But, the lip-synching has been around far longer than that by stars bigger than Beyoncé.
Whitney Houston, lip-synched the National Anthem during the height of her career in 1991 before Super Bowl XXV.
Houston’s performance wasn’t a complete lip-sync. The late singer’s former spokesperson Dan Klores told the Wall Street Journal she did sing — just into a dead mic which only allowed people 200 feet in front of her to hear.
According to Klores, Super Bowl performers required a recording to be made even then.
“It was a technical decision partially based on the noise factor,” said Klores.
Last year, many said much of Madonna’s half-time show was lip-synched.
Looking at the Inauguration, it appears that too requires pre-recorded music, explaining why Beyoncé may have opted to lip-sync, even if Kelly Clarkson did sing live.
So, while you’re ready and raring to watch Beyoncé during the Super Bowl halftime show come Feb 3, remember, she probably won’t be performing the entire thing live.
At the end of the day, you’ll still enjoy the performance for what it is, lip-sync or no lip-sync, because we know Beyoncé’s a talented singer, and, more so, a great dancer.
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