Inauguration and Lip-Synching

Originally posted 23rd January 2013

This past Monday, I watched the Presidential Inauguration.  In this history making televised event, three of music’s finest artists — James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyonce — delivered stellar performances.  After Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in, James sang “America The Beautiful,” featuring his signature accompaniment style on acoustic guitar.  Following President Barack Hussein Obama II’s inauguration and speech, Kelly wowed the audience (including the First and Second Familes and maybe former President Bill Clinton) with her soulful, powerful rendition of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.”


Near the end of the ceremony was Beyonce’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which has been drawing both praise and criticism — the latter due to allegations that she lip-synched the song. I mean, what?!  Give me a break!  I, for one, don’t believe that she lip-synched anything because when she sings, she hits every note almost perfectly.  If she did, in fact, use a “pre-recorded track” to back her up, then I’m pretty sure she sang over it nearly flawlessly because Beyonce’s the kind of artist that doesn’t like to let people down.  LEAVE BEYONCE ALONE!  SHE’S NOT MILLI VANILLI FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  GET OVER IT!!!


Understandably, artists like Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and the late Whitney Houston have used backing tracks in their performances so that they wouldn’t get their songs wrong, but sometimes as an artist, sometimes you have to bend the rules a little bit to keep your audience entertained. Also, I know that performances by people like Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson have gone wrong due to issues with their backing tracks.  We are musicians.  We’re only human.  Don’t punish or criticise us just because we tend to bend the rules when we perform.


In spite of it all, I enjoyed the Inauguration, and the music there was incredible.