Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Beyonce answers lip-sync questions with real voice

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NEW ORLEANS -- Beyonce answered critics of her Inauguration Day performance the best way she could -- with another sterling performance of the national anthem.

The difference? On Thursday, it was live: She admitted during her Super Bowl news conference that when she performed for President Barack Obama and the nation, she decided to sing to a prerecorded track because she didn't have time to practice. Calling herself a self-proclaimed "perfectionist," she said wanted the day to go off without a hitch.

"I practice until my feet bleed and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra," she said, adding that she was also emotional that day. "Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I'm very proud of my performance."

It was the superstar's first public comments on what has become known as "Beyonce-gate." Her rendition of the anthem at the inauguration was critically praised, but it came under scrutiny less than a day later when a representative from the U.S. Marine Band said Beyonce wasn't singing live and the band's accompanying performance was taped. Shortly after, the group backed off its initial statement and said no one could tell if she was singing live or not.

With the controversy growing each day, and everyone from politicians to other entertainers weighing in, the inauguration performance threatened to overshadow her planned Super Bowl halftime show. So the 31-year-old, wearing a tight, cream mini-dress, addressed the issue as soon as she took to the podium Thursday afternoon.

She asked everyone to stand, and, with an image of the American flag behind her, performed a live rendition of the national anthem that mirrored the one on Inauguration Day. After, she said with a laugh: "Any questions?"

Despite her performance, there were.

When pressed about whether any sound was coming from her voice when she sang for the president, she said she was singing along to the track and not mimicking. And when asked if she would be singing live at the Super Bowl, she said: "I will absolutely be singing live.

"This is what I was born to do."

She added later: "I always sing live. ... The inauguration was unfortunately a time where I could not rehearse with the orchestra, actually because I was rehearsing for the Super Bowl. So that was always the plan."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 C4

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