UPDATE, Tuesday, 2:38 p.m.: The Marine Corps is now backing away from an earlier assertion that Beyonce lip-synced during her performance of the national anthem, saying, "no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
A spokesman for the Marines told TheWrap in a statement that the pre-recorded track was used for the backing music at the Presidential Inaugural Committee's request because the singer was unable to rehearse with the band, Knowles' performance wasn't necessarily pre-recorded.
In summary, Beyonce couldn't rehearse, so the Marine Corps. band had to use a backing track. We'll let you decide for yourself if that makes sense while you read the statement below:
"The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) requested that the Marine Band accompany Beyonce Knowles-Carter in the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2013 Inaugural Ceremony. However, there was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event. Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances. Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
Oh, say, did you see Beyoncé Knowles sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at President Obama's inauguration?
No, you did not — because she was lip-syncing, according to The New York Times.
A spokeswoman for the United States Marine Band — which accompanied Knowles during the performance — told the Times that the "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" songbird's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Monday's inauguration a previously recorded track. The admission creates doubts among many Americans about the legitimacy of the inauguration, the Obama presidency and perhaps the nation itself.
Master Sgt. Kristin duBois told the Times that the singer and the band were told at the last minute by the ceremony's organizers to use recorded version of the national anthem that was taped at the Marine Barracks Annex the previous night. DuBois did not say who why the order was issued.
"We don’t know why,” Sergeant duBois said. “But that is what we were instructed to do, so that is what we did. It’s not because Beyoncé can’t sing. We all know Beyoncé can sing. We all know the Marine Band can play.”
DuBois added that other performances — including "American Idol" favorite Kelly Clarkson's rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" — was performed live.
The Marine Band has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment. Nor has a publicist for Knowles, who is scheduled to perform at the Super Bowl half-time show next month, assuming she hasn't been rushed to an undisclosed location by government agents following the lip-syncing gaffe.
Knowles wouldn't be the first inauguration performer to fake it during an Obama inauguration ceremony. Following the president's 2008 election, classical musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman performed to a pre-recorded track due to inclement weather.
Still, as you read this, Karl Rove is no doubt coming up with a reason why the lip-synching incident means that Mitt Romney actually won the election.