Via Guardian reports:
Aretha Franklin has said that she “cracked up” laughing at reports that Beyoncé lip-synched through The Star Spangled-Banner at president Obama’s inauguration ceremony.
The 70-year-old singer performed My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at Obama’s first inauguration ceremony in Washington DC four years ago.
Franklin told ABC News she still thinks Beyoncé “did a beautiful job” at Monday’s event but added: “When I heard the news this evening that she was pre-recorded I really laughed. I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather.” In fact, temperatures were as low as 40 degrees.
“When I heard that I just really cracked up,” Franklin added. “I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record … next time I’ll probably do the same.”
The soul legend said that she had sung live for her inauguration performance in 2009, because “I wanted to give people the real thing” and that “pre-recording never crossed my mind”.
She did admit to lip-synching once previously when she performed The Star-Spangled Banner at a NBA final in 2004.
“I think it’s optional really, it’s up to the artist,” she added.
The ceremony on Monday was held on Martin Luther King Jr Day, which had particularly poignancy for Franklin, who knew the late civil rights leader.
“From the beginning to the end, I was crying throughout the ceremony at different times,” she said. “Looking at the history of the president coming to the point he came to, looking to where it came from the civil rights movement to yesterday and I think most of the country was crying.”
Beyoncé has not yet commented on the controversy over her performance. A member of the US Marine Corps band initially claimed that the 31-year-old star lip-synched through her performance but a spokesman later issued a statement saying: “Regarding Ms Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.”
What do you think about Aretha’s comments? And did Bey really lip sync? Seems like even the Marine Corps band isn’t sure!