On Monday, Beyoncé performed a scene-stealing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. The next day, reports began to surface that the singer lip-synced the performance, and people everywhere pretended to get upset and acted like it’s a big deal. Here’s the performance.

And here are some reasons why it's not a big deal.

1. It’s 2013.

How naive are you? This happens all the time. This wasn’t a small show. It was a huge, televised event. It was outdoors and about 5 C. A lot can go wrong. We have the technology to make sure everything goes perfectly. This is how it’s done. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

2. It’s her voice.

Sometimes you see a performance of a song and it’s obvious the person isn’t doing all the singing live. Either Rihanna is singing along to her own harmony, and it’s fine, or Britney Spears is cycling through a bunch of Pro Tools presets (below), and everyone rolls their eyes. That was Beyoncé’s voice on Monday. Sure, it may have been pre-recorded, but it’s well documented that she’s a pretty good singer.

3. She wasn’t lip-syncing.

“Lip-syncing” is something little kids do into a hairbrush in front of a mirror. It’s the vocal equivalent of air guitar. Beyoncé was absolutely singing — the microphone just may not have been turned on. When Whitney Houston went through a similar controversy in 1991 (yes, this type of thing has been happening forever), her spokesman said the following:

“This is not a Milli Vanilli thing. she sang live, but the microphone was turned off. It was a technical decision, partially based on the noise factor. This is standard procedure at these events."

4. She’s awesome.

Do people really think Beyoncé can’t sing? In 2009, a video surfaced that was supposedly the raw vocal from a performance on NBC’s Today, and she was hilariously off-key. This turned out to be a hoax. Here’s what a great singer Beyoncé is: someone had to use production tricks to make her sound bad. If you need further proof that Beyoncé can sing much better than the average person, here’s a video of Beyoncé and the average person.


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posted by Dave Shumka on Jan 23, 2013