Fans were crazy in love with singer Beyoncé Knowles’s jaw-dropping inaugural performance of the US national anthem — until it emerged Tuesday the diva apparently lip-synched her rousing rendition.
Beyonce reportedly mimed the American National Anthem at Barack Obama's inauguration amid news that she only had one night to rehearse the performance.
The band and Beyoncé bluffed their way through a prerecorded version.
The 'Halo' hitmaker - dressed in a demure black dress with emerald earrings - sang 'The Star Spangled Banner' in Washington DC immediately following the president's swearing-in and speech but the audio is said to have been pre-recorded amid reports she only had one night to rehearse with the band before the performance.
A spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band told the The Times newspaper in London: "We don't know why Beyoncé decided to use pre-recorded music. All music [for inaugural ceremonies] is pre-recorded as a matter of course, and that's something we've done for years and years. The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony but we received last-minute word that Beyoncé wanted to use the recording."
The representative also told gossip website TMZ.com: "We all know Beyonce can sing ... We don't know why she chose to use the pre-recorded track."
A spokesman for the Marine Corps later tried to muzzle the controversy with a carefully worded statement that confirmed the band was faking it, but refused to tarnish Beyoncé’s halo. “Regarding (her) vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or prerecorded,” Capt. Gregory Wolf said via email.
All artists at the inaugural ceremony are prerecorded in case weather conditions or other circumstances could interrupt the program, Wolf said.
A source told Buzzfeed before the inauguration that the singer only had one night to rehearse with the band as she is currently preparing for her high profile show at the Super Bowl in New Orleans on February 3, during which she will be joined by her Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
The band's director Colonel Michael J. Colburn said: "As soon as we get information from the Presidential Inaugural Committee [about] who the guest artists are going to be, we make contact with them, find out how we can prepare arrangements that will really kind of flatter their voices -- of course in the right key.
"We had Kelly [Clarkson] in over the weekend to rehearse and record. Beyonce, she's getting ready for the Super Bowl, so we didn't have a chance to do anything with her until last night (20.01.13).
"It's a very, very tight window of opportunity."
Other performers at the event including newly-engaged 'Stronger' singer Kelly sang live.
Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (AP)