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Did Beyonce Lip-Sync ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ At Obama Inauguration?

May Have Sang Live Over Pre-Recorded Track; Marine Band Issues Statement
Beyonce performs the National Anthem to conclude the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the US Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.      (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Beyonce performs the National Anthem to conclude the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the US Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you thought Beyonce’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” was flawless, that’s because it may have been lip-synched.

A Marine Corps Band spokeswoman told news outlets Tuesday that the band was notified at the last minute before the performance that Beyonce would use a pre-recorded voice track.

“The entire performance was live except for the national anthem,” Master Sgt. Kristin duBois told The New York Times and other outlets. “We don’t know why. But that is what we were instructed to do so that is what we did. It’s not because Beyonce can’t sing. We all know Beyonce can sing. We all know the Marine Band can play.”

Band members played their instruments live with no intonation problems in the chilly conditions ahead of the national anthem, the spokeswoman said.

Web Extra: Inauguration 2013 Inaugural Ball

Beyonce also posted a picture of herself on Instagram (shown below via instragram.com/baddiebey) in a recording studio with members of the Marine Corps Band, leading many to think she pre-recorded the National Anthem.

A source very familiar with the situation told CBS News that Beyonce performed the National Anthem live but she pre-recorded a track of the song to sing over. The source said this is a standard performing practice.

CBS News has twice sought comment from Beyonce’s publicist and will continue to do so.

The Marine Corps Band later issued the following statement:

“The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) requested that the Marine Band accompany Beyonce Knowles-Carter in the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2013 Inaugural Ceremony. However, 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. 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.”

CBS 2’s Emily Smith asked Sen. Chuck Schumer, who introduced Beyonce at the inauguration, if he knew she wouldn’t be singing strictly live and he said he did not know.

Kelly Clarkson’s representative said she sang live her performance of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”

The use of a recording is typical in big events. In 2009, cellist Yo-Yo Ma was questioned about “hand-synching” for Obama’s first inauguration. Ma said instruments weren’t functioning properly in 19-degree weather.

“The 2009 Super Bowl was contentious. Jennifer Hudson lip synced the National Anthem and Faith Hill lip synced ‘America the Beautiful,’” said Dorothy Cascerceri of In Touch magazine.

Cascerceri said with Beyonce scheduled to sing at this year’s Super Bowl she should be honest with her fans.

“Let people know this was not malicious intent. It was just in her best interest. In the viewers’ best interest. It might be a good idea for her to tell the fans,” Cascerceri said.

Still, fans CBS 2’s Smith spoke to had mixed feelings.

“Maybe she was sick, maybe sick or with a cold. She might have a reason,” one person said.

“I almost think I’d rather hear a mistake then have her lip sync,” another person said.

What do you think? Do you care if she did not sing live? Let us know below.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)