Oh say can you see… the American public turning on Queen B? After a generally stunning appearance at Monday’s presidential inauguration, Beyoncé has found herself in a place both Ashlee Simpson and Christina Aguilera know all too well. No, sadly “Shadow” didn’t earn any Grammy Awards so we’re obviously talking about a quote-unquote scandal over the public lip-synching of a beloved national tune. We oohed and aahed at Beyoncé’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” just hours ago, commenting on everything from her fierce runs to those gorgeous green earrings. But is there such a thing as “too good to be true”? According to the London Times, Bey opted to go with a backing track and chose to lip-synch the song rather than perform it live on the Capitol lawn. Photos posted to her official Instagram reveal what we originally thought were rehearsals with the Marine Corp Band on Sunday, but an official spokeswoman for the band tells the UK paper that Bey decided to use this studio version “shortly before her performance.” “A backing track? Really?” asks the otherwise flawless Kelly Clarkson.
Maybe we should have thought as much, considering what appeared to be technical difficulties early on and climaxed with her legendary earpiece throwdown. Either way, does it matter?
Whitney Houston famously lip-synched the Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991, a performance we’ve since celebrated for its emotion and power in an otherwise difficult time. And singing it live isn’t easy: Aguilera flubbed her chance at eternal sports glory during the 2011 Super Bowl, and was subsequently forced to apologize to the American public. Do we, the people–and more importantly, Barack Obama–deserve one from our Queen? If the vocals are there (just not there, there) does it matter? And who is this Marine Corp spokeswoman who has decided to blow up her spot? After 16 Grammy Awards, four albums and one Blue daughter, what more does she have to prove? We’ll have no shortage of Beyoncé performances in public arenas to look forward to in the coming months, but given the track record for halftime shows, we’re unsure if Super Bowl XLVII will provide any sort of redemption.
[Photo: Getty Images]