After the Beyontroversial performance of the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, there has been an incredible amount of focus on whether or not performers are singing the “Star Spangled Banner” without the aid of a backing track, the likes of which have not seen since the days of Milli Vanilli. Beyoncé came under extreme fire for lip-synching the Francis Scott Key’s patriotic ode to our revolutionary brethren, and after watching Alicia Keys perform the anthem tonight just before the start of Super Bowl XLVII, she clearly wanted to avoid any such controversy.
Although only the Superdome’s sound operator knows for sure whether or not there was any audio tomfoolery going on before kickoff tonight, to our ears, Keys’ version of the “Star Spangled Banner” seemed like it was sung AND played live (on the piano, no less). Why do we feel like this performance was “real”? For one, it was one of the slowest renditions of the song that we’ve ever heard. Secondly, much like Mrs. Carter’s defiant version at her press conference on Thursday, Keys deliberately paused in certain, semi-unorthodox spots of the song to verbally riff in such a way that seemed almost pre-calculated to ward off lip-synching accusations. Her voice, which some have been saying has been a bit pitchy of late, sounded as good as we’ve heard it in some time. But that’s just our take. What do YOU think?
Watch Alicia Keys sing the “Star Spangled Banner” below!
[Photo: Getty Images]