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Beyonce's National Anthem Was Pre-Recorded, Marine Band Says

NPR icon by Mark Memmott
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Beyoncé got rave reviews Monday for her rendition of the national anthem at President Obama's inauguration.

Today, the stories are all about comments from U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman Master Sgt. Kristin duBois, who tells CNN that Beyoncé "did not actually sing." ABC News, which also talked to duBois, writes it was told that "it was Beyoncé's voice" we all heard, but that it was "a pre-recorded version."

The U.S. Marine Band, which played throughout the ceremony, also did not perform live during the anthem, says The New York Times. The Times adds that:

"It was not immediately clear who made the decision to ask Beyoncé to lip-synch the anthem on Monday, Sergeant duBois said. The band's director, Col. Michael J. Colburn, received orders from the event's organizers to switch to a backing track just before Beyoncé went on. 'The entire performance was live except for the national anthem,' Sgt. duBois said."

So far, the many media outlets who have sought comment from Beyoncé report they haven't gotten any yet.

ABC News adds that singer Kelly Clarkson, who earlier in the inaugural program sang My Country, 'Tis of Thee, "could be seen signaling to Beyoncé after the national anthem performance and appeared to mouth the words, 'It's so hard.' "

Beyoncé next high profile gig, by the way, will be at halftime of the Super Bowl.

Inaugural fans will remember that four years ago, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman had to forgo playing "live" because it the cold temperatures might have snapped their instruments' strings. So they did some "string synching."

This all makes us wonder:

Note: That's just a question, not a scientific survey of public opinion.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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