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.
The Star-Spangled Banner
Cyndi Lauper became the latest in a long line of singers to draw a temporary mental blank while singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Saturday night’s U.S. Open women’s semifinal match. However, pop culture historians will most certainly not rank her momentary lapse of concentration alongside some of history’s most infamous anthem flubbers like Roseanne Barr, Carl Lewis or Christina Aguilera.
Lauper lost her way during the “O’er the ramparts we watched” section of Francis Scott Key‘s 1814 chart-topper, when instead of singing “were so gallantly streaming,” she belted out “as our flag was still streaming.” To her credit, though, she didn’t let the moment get to her, and she was able to finish the song without further incident. The blown lyric appeared to be a result of the gravity of the moment, as the native New Yorker was called on to deliver the national anthem just moments after a moment of silence for 9/11 victims had taken place. Lauper explained as much on Twitter in the moments following the incident, writing that “Whew, I just did the anthem for the US open. It was an awesome experience.I got choked up in the middle remembering 9/11.” Don’t sweat it, Cyndi, America will do doubt forgive you: after all, it’s pretty apparent that your true colors are red, white and blue.