Aretha Franklin, Michelle Williams Support Beyonce Lip-Syncing National Anthem
The controversy surrounding Beyonce‘s purported lip-syncing of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at the 2013 presidential inauguration has stirred up some heated debates. One person who thought Bey “did a beautiful job” is none other than Aretha Franklin.
“When I heard the news… 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,” she told ABC News. “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.”
And she should know. The Queen of Soul had to croon ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ during President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, in almost the same exact weather conditions. So why didn’t Franklin use a pre-recorded tape? “I wanted to give people the real thing and pre-recording never crossed my mind,” she said.
Franklin is not the only one supportive of Beyonce’s vocal decision. Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams noted that Whitney Houston used a pre-recorded track to sing the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl, which later became a chart-topping hit for the late pop icon.
“It’s their personal preference. With big crowds and echoes, you know when it’s a big historical moment, you don’t want any room for any mistakes so I can understand why it was done,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
Nevertheless, the Wall Street Journal contends that Beyonce actually did sing the National Anthem but used the pre-recorded tape to bolster her vocals.
In the end, Franklin believes that no artist should be vilified for choosing to use a pre-recorded tape to enhance their vocal performance. “I think it’s optional really, it’s up to the artist,” she says. “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 [Beyonce] pre-recorded [her vocals],” she continues. “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.”
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Watch Beyonce’s Perform the National Anthem at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration