Aretha is sounding off on Beyonce, saying the singer did a wonderful job singing at President Obama’s inauguration, even if it was lip syncing. Others still disagree that it wasn’t performed live.
Soon after Beyonce performed the national anthem, the internet buzzed with rumors that she wasn’t really singing. These rumors were fueled by a report from the United States Marine Band after a representative told the New York Post that the band was informed that Beyonce chose to go with a pre-recorded vocal track.
Aretha Franklin, who was watching the inauguration, seemed to affirm the rumors.
“When I heard the news this evening that she was pre-recorded I really laughed,” Aretha told ABC News. “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. When I heard that I just really cracked up. I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record … next time I’ll probably do the same.”
Aretha Franklin herself performed for Obama back in 2009, singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at his first inauguration back in 2009. Franklin said she didn’t lip sync then, but understands why Beyonce did.
“In 2009, I wanted everything to be live and on the real side for the moment as it actually happened,” Aretha told ABC News. “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 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.”
Aretha has her thoughts on Beyonce, but other singers still think she was singing it live. Mike Doughty wrote a piece for Slate that said her performance looked nothing like the slightly off lip syncing he’s seen. Doughty added that if Beyonce was lip syncing, she’s the most convincing actor he’s ever sen.