The United States Marine Band has retracted an earlier statement that claimed that Beyonce Knowles "did not actually sing" the U.S. national anthem during President Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremony on Monday.
Immediately following Beyonce's performance, her rendition of "Star Spangled Banner" was widely praised and acclaimed by the media and viewers, who applauded Beyonce's R&B riffs and vocal performance on the song. However on Tuesday, Kristin DuBois, the Master Sgt. of the Marine Band told several American news outlets, including CNN and the New York Times that the 31-year-old former Destiny's Child member requested to use a pre-recorded track at the last minute before her performance.
DuBois told media outlets that she didn't know why the decision to use the pre-recorded track was made, saying that "it's not because Beyonce can't sing. We all know Beyonce can sing".
However today, Capt. Gregory Wolf said in a statement to the Associated Press that "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". Wolf and DuBois both stated that the Marine Band did in fact perform live during Knowles' performance.
The statements from DuBois and Wolf have added more confusion into the rapidly moving controversy over whether Beyonce did in fact perform live or if the rendition was pre-recorded. Following the performance, a media backlash occurred, with critics and viewers claiming that Beyonce used a large microphone during her performance in order to hide her mouth, so that it couldn't be seen that she was lip-syncing. Despite these "large microphone" claims, Kelly Clarkson was seen performing using the same microphone, however a representative for the Marine Band told reporters that Clarkson definitely performed live.
Public animosity on Twitter towards Knowles' supposed fake performance was unleashed, with the general public criticizing Beyonce for faking such a momentous performance. The Marine Band has stated that all performances are always pre-recorded "just in case" of weather or technical difficulties, however that the pre-recorded tracks are normally not used.
Beyonce released a photograph of her in a recording studio-like environment with the Marine Band on Instagram on Sunday, which fueled more speculation that the performance was false. However, many have stated that the performance couldn't have been faked due to the echos and technical flares in Beyonce's performance, along with Beyonce having to remove her earpiece half-way through the song, while singing "The bombs bursting in air" after Beyonce experienced apparent audio issues while singing. During her performance, Beyonce did not give any obvious indication that she was lip-syncing.
Beyonce, who will be the half-time show during the Superbowl on February 3, was spotted looking "unhappy" on Tuesday after flying to New Orleans with her husband of nearly five years, Jay-Z to rehearse for the performance.
A representative for Beyonce did not comment. Beyonce is currently preparing to release Lovesongs, a compilation album by Destiny's Child that will be their first release since their 2005 breakup. Lovesongs will feature love-themed songs from the trio's former albums along with the newly recorded single "Nuclear". Beyonce is also preparing to release her fifth solo album, which is due out in April. Her fifth album will be a follow-up to the somewhat lackluster sales of her 2011 effort 4.