I’m not a Beyonce-hater … but I’m tired of Beyonce. I think she is a great performer and singer and I love some Destiny’s Child, but I’m over her.
I’m not trying to throw shade; I just don’t understand why she’s asked to sing at everything -- find somebody else. Please. Still, I have a need to defend the poor lady after her national anthem performance this week.
Mrs. Jay-Z sang at the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Monday and she did a great job, no doubt about it. But now, in addition to her normal publicity, headlines are everywhere saying that she lip-synced the National Anthem. Yes, if it’s true, then I feel a little duped, but so, what? This whole thing is going too far; especially because it’s not out of the ordinary. Now if she was on some Milli Vanilli, then we would have had a problem. It’s not like someone else was singing for her, she just chose to not sing a song that is so easy to mess up live, in 40 degree weather. Entertainers often lip-synch at events. Depending on the conditions they are in and how intricate the whole performance is, some have a track playing and sing over it or with it. Not everyone can give their best performance in Washington, D.C., end-of-January cold: some can, some can’t.
Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” was really good, as are most of performances, but she didn’t sing that national anthem. This isn’t a stupid Super Bowl that has no major significance; this is the inauguration of a new leader of the United States of America. If there wasn’t all this hoopla about Beyonce, I’m about 80 percent sure people would have said Clarkson’s arrangement wasn’t traditional-enough, a bit pitchy in places or found something else wrong with her performance. Aretha Franklin, who sang the same song as Clarkson during the 2008 Inauguration, said she would have pre-recorded a track for her performance, too, if she would have thought about it. She also said 40 degree weather “for most singers that is just not good singing weather.” Now that could have very well been a backhanded comment, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Franklin told ABC that if she hadn’t had to wait in the cold so long that her 2009 performance would have been a lot better and “next time I’ll probably do the same” as Beyonce and do a pre-recorded version of whatever she is singing. Maybe people just have higher standards for Beyonce. In this middle of the Franklin interview, ABC included a link to an article called “6 People Who Should Have Lip-synced the National Anthem.” That article included Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, Christina Aguilera, eight-time Grammy winner Anita Baker and Jesse McCartney. Aguilera, Lauper and McCartney sang the wrong words; Tyler and Baker just sounded bad. You win some, you lose some.
Franklin said she lip-synced “The Star- Spangled Banner” when she sang it before game five of the 2004 NBA Finals where the Detroit Pistons played the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think it’s optional really, it’s up to the artist,” Franklin is quoted saying to an ABC reporter. “In 2009, I wanted everything to be live and on the real side for the moment as it actually happened. Those were my feelings for my performance, but having come face to face with 28, 22 degrees, I am not surprised she pre-recorded. She wanted her performance to be what she wanted (it) to be and she realized it wasn’t going to be the way she wanted it to be or she was going to be running a risk. That’s probably why she pre-recorded exactly how she wanted it to be heard.”
Famed, and exceptional, cellist Yo-Yo Ma “string-synched” his 2008 Inauguration performance. It is reported that every song you hear during the inauguration is pre-recorded because of the intensity of the weather and technical issues, so obviously there is good reason for it. It is rumored that Whitney Houston lip-synced to her pre-recorded version of the National Anthem in 1991. A 2009 ABC article said both Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson lip-synced the song at the Super Bowl at the request of the preshow game producer Rickey Minor.
“That’s the right way to do it,” he said. “There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist to go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”
Bottom line is that the inauguration is about the new president; everything else is just icing on the cake. She lip-synced to her own voice and we have more important fish to fry. It’s not like she can’t sing; we all know that she can. She didn’t want to mess up the National Anthem for goodness sakes; she was probably so nervous. Or, better yet, maybe she didn’t want to mess up the words. Lord knows, if the C-I did a Sidewalk Survey asking people what the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner” are, most people, including myself, would mess up royally. If Beyonce would have messed up the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” then we really would have been in for a media-trip. All this sensationalism is grossing me out. I guess now people will know that a perfect performance requires a perfect setting: places like an inauguration and a super bowl probably aren’t it.