Pop culture passionates are abuzz today about the news that Beyoncé, brave and bold queen of America, might have lip-synced her much-lauded performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at yesterday's presidential inauguration. Yes, there are reports that she decided to use a dreaded pre-recorded backing track rather than sing live, which is alternately breaking hearts and confirming suspicions the nation over. But really, why should we be upset? It still sounded great, didn't it?
As has been pointed out today, Whitney Houston's famous nailing of our national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl was, in fact, a pre-recorded track, and we still hold that as the best-ever performance of that tricky song. Granted that performance was long enough ago, and from a more blissfully ignorant time, that many of us can choose to willfully ignore the cruel fact of her lip-syncing. This very recent case, though, here in a post-pillorying of Ashlee Simpson world, might be harder to sweep under the rug. Still, at most all that's lost is the silly notion that Beyoncé is some sort of superhuman — one supremely confident enough to risk slipping up on a notoriously difficult song in front of millions of people, one of whom happens to be the President of the United States. I'm pretty sure most of us would do the same thing were we in her position. That "red glare" and the "land of the free" are pretty hard to get to, so maybe if you knocked them out of the park earlier in the weekend you might just want to use that recording.