Home Hot Topics Beyonce and the Lip Sync Controversy: Is it REALLY that serious?!

Beyonce and the Lip Sync Controversy: Is it REALLY that serious?!


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On Monday, the United States of America celebrated 2 momentous events: the holiday of my frat brother, and civil rights pillar Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Presidential Inauguration. It was coincidental how the inauguration of the first black U.S. President and MLK Day fell on the same date, but you can check our thoughts on the day itself  HERE. During the inaugural ceremonies, we partake in performances of some of our National songs, along with other forms of entertainment (poetry, etc). Beyonce was on hand to perform the Star Spangled Banner (The US National Anthem). She had a great performance, and everyone generally approved…until a few days later when it was confirmed that Beyonce lip sync’d the song:

A hint as to the actual origins of the version Beyoncé sang came from her own hand: On January 20, the day before the ceremony, Beyoncé posted pictures to her Instagram account that appeared to show her in a recording studio. In one, she holds a copy of the sheet music to “The Star Spangled Banner” in front of a microphone attached to a recording device, and in another she sits in front of recording equipment while members of the Marine Corps Band stand clutching sheet music behind her.

I personally could give 3 f*cks whether or not Mrs. Carter performed the track live or in the studio, but by the reaction in the news, and on social media, you would’ve thought that it was the end of the world. Beyonce stans were running to her side, defending her decision to the death. Beyonce’s opposition  (don’t want to call them haters, lest I be mistaken for a stan), took the opportunity to deride her singing ability, and normal social media antagonists did what they normally do: create memes and watch the magic happen.

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I didn’t think the conversation over this story would be as extensive as it has become. Many of my sane and rationale friends, including the SBM staff wondered aloud “Is Beyonce lip syncing the National Anthem REALLY that serious?!”  History would tell us otherwise:

If it is true that Beyonce did lip-sync at Monday’s inauguration, she wouldn’t be the first artist to perform that way at a major national event. Here are a few examples:

In 1991, Whitney Houston lip-synced her iconic interpretation of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.

Oscar-winner and former “American Idol” contestant Jennifer Hudson did the same thing with the anthem at the Super Bowl in 2009.

Faith Hill also performed to a backing track for “America The Beautiful” at the same event in 2009.

At President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Yo-Yo Ma’s performance came into question over “hand syncing.” The acclaimed cellist had said the instruments weren’t working properly in the very cold weather.


So other great artists and acts have performed to a backing track in similar instances. Hell, rappers at most awards shows and concerts rap over their own songs when performing! Why is it a big deal now? is this what all elite entertainers go through normally? Is this par for the course?

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I have one theory: I believe this is an immediate and swift reaction as a result of the incessant worshipping of Beyonce stans. People who hate Beyonce stans wanted to shut them up and pressed this issue to the forefront. Antagonizing the Beyonce idollators gives them pleasure, and I can’t say I blame them too much.

Some of these stans are unbearable. However, there’s many more worthy news stories  to run into the ground. We all know Beyonce is a performer and can sing live. This is nothing to press anyone about, but it’s a clear sign that people are fed up with the stans and have in essence, indirectly performed stannish actions by perpetuating the “importance” of an everyday occurrence in music!

Funny how that works out, right?

Why do you think this “story” has become sensationalized? Are you tired of it yet? Are you mad at me for bringing it up? 



  1. Let's see….generally speaking, people love to hate Beyonce, if for no other reason than she is Beyonce!!! We really have to stop ascribing these super human attributes to stars, utterly ridiculous. I'm well over it, and will scream if Milli Vanilli with Beyonce super imposed pops up on my MSN screen one more time. Finally, I am glad you brought it up, with the addition of other super talented voices, with iconic performances, that indeed, did the exact same thing. If nothing else, giver her credit, because she lip synched the heck out of the song!

  2. Beyonce stans drive me absolutely nuts. And for that reason, I think there's been so much backlash. People hate her stans.

    As for her lip synching. I understand, considering the cold, and as someone who sings, I get it. Heck, she may have been nervous and not wanted to mess up such a historic moment… More than likely she was singing along with the back track (although you may not really hear it), and the reason for the ridiculous taking out of the ear piece (which seems silly in hindsight), I would guess, is that her pre-recorded music was not in synch with the actual Marine Corp band, therefore throwing off her timing, etc.

    However, I will say, that as a singer myself and someone who LOVES a good rendition of the National Anthem, if Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor could sing live with a noisy crowd… Surely Beyonce could have done it. Beyonce has nothing to prove to anyone and she doesn't pay my bills, but I imagine the performance would have been even MORE electrifying had she actually sang live, and as someone who enjoys talented singers, I just imagine how much more awesome it could have been.
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    1. Actually I take part of this back: If there's one thing I really enjoyed about this performance was her vocal control. Not every rendition of the Star Spangled banner needs melismas and to be done for 20 minutes. If she had sang it live, it might have taken away from her subdued voice, something I wish she did in her music more often.

      So yeah… That's all I have to say about that.

  3. I’ll be the first to admit that while her music is not my taste, the “Who Betrayed America Worse: Lance Armstrong or Beyonce” articles are a but much. I’d also have to agree that her stans brought the “see? Her sh*t DOES stink!!” onslaught onto themselves.

  4. Was certainly surprised to see this all over the news programs this morning. I guess the media will grab at anything to overshadow the historic and sentimental moments of the inauguration. If it wasn't her singing, it would have been her weave. Or her dress. Or some other petty minuscule distraction. Unfortunately, within the pages of future history books, the 2nd inaugural celebration of America's first 'Black' president will be footnoted with Beyonce's lip sync controversy(Maybe. lol.). Because that's what's really important and worth remembering.
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  5. It's funny because right before they introduced her my moms said " O God! She is singing the national anthem, you really gotta be able to sing to pull that song off!" She is one of those people who doesn't think her voice is that strong. And she really joked about how thats a studio song for her. Personally I am disappointed that she didn't sing it live because that is the perfect song to show whether you have skills or not! I think much of the backlash comes from the excuses given for not singing live when everyone else who performed did so! To piggy back that, some people are hating and doesn't think she deserve that 50 miliion pepsi is paying her for the SuperBowl! She really has given her critics something to talk about because way way way way more often than not, when asked to sing the National Anthem they mean live. Make time to rehearse with the band and in the cold!!!


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