beyonce

Thursday during her Super Bowl presser pop/R&B singer Beyoncé asked the media in attendance to rise, then, surprise, re-sung “The Star Spangled Banner.”

For those who haven’t been paying attention because you were too busy with things such as “lives,” “careers” and “99 problems, but Beyoncé isn’t one,” this was likely due to criticism that she allegedly lip synced her Inaugural performance of the National Anthem back on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when President Obama was sworn into his second term.

For the record, she sang live to a backing track that also played her voice and the band.
Here’s what she had to say:

I am a perfectionist. And one thing about me, I practice until my feet bleed. And I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live tv show and a very, very important, emotional show for me. One of my proudest moments. Due to the weather, due to the delay and lack of 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 to a pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.

No real surprises there. But the whole time as I watched this I thought – Really? Is this necessary? Everyone already knows she can sing, and unless she was going to whip out a House of Dereon brand time machine, go back to King Day, smash the backing tape to bits, shove herself off the microphone and sing it all over again causing a time paradox … what would this accomplish?

Media (and most viewers) have an attention span maximum of about a week. The week of “did she sing or was it Memorex” was quickly passed over for Hillary Clinton arguing with Republican Congress critters and a new episode of Vh1’s Love and Hip-Hop Original Recipe. (Now with Atlanta-style soap opera editing!) Meaning everyone had wrung as much non-troversy, hits, ratings, page views and comment thread fights as you could get muster of this thing. It was pretty much dead as people were looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday and seeing if Ray Lewis was going to get “raptured” up from the 50 yard line if the Ravens win.

But here comes Beyoncé … posed and ready to silence the haters who’d mostly shut up about four or five days ago.

So why would Beyoncé do this? Naturally, I have some theories.

What Beyoncé re-singing the National Anthem at press conference says about Beyoncé:

PR Newser (among others) thought this move was pretty savvy. They said it made the critics online and in the press “look kinda dumb for making a big deal about this.” Gawker resident Beyoncé super fan Caity Weaver commented “IT’S THE MOST PERFECT SOUND. KILL THE UNBELIEVERS.” (She was exaggerating, but seemed genuinely happy.)

But for me, it didn’t look like a savvy public relations move or, necessarily, a testament to her singing prowess. To me, it just showed that she’s extremely human and like us all is affected by criticism – warranted and unwarranted – and rather than invalidate the argument by ignoring it, she walked right back into it.

As someone who has written their fair share of things people have both loved and hated, I know the feeling. But I also know that most of the time it’s just best to ignore it. People don’t know your life. And they typically don’t care to know. In the case of Beyoncé, they’re going to think what they want to think, as the talent wasn’t the question, but whether or not they were watching a genuine moment or a false one. In the end, it’s a performance of the National Anthem, which happens all the time and is not something that affects most people, like whether or not the debt ceiling would be raised.

But critics don’t care about what is industry standard, or what’s typical, or part of the business unless they’re in the business. To everyone else, that is inside baseball and re-singing is pointless approval seeking.

I get it. We all want to be understood. We want to over-explain. We want to defend ourselves. But sometimes, it’s just not worth it, because it didn’t change anything. It simply reinforced the Beyoncé lover/hater divide.

It didn’t really change my mind. I still think this is a hilarious non-issue. Did it change yours?

Clutch Update: The New York Post, owned by News Corporation, put out this video comparing Beyonce’s Inauguration pre-recorded version and her a capella version …

  • http://www.facebook.com/maroonsista Maroonsista AtTwitter

    The media had NOT shut up about it. I watch CNN every day and they were STILL talking about this up until yesterday. There was article after article about it on L.A. Times, Reuters, etc. Blog posts. Radio conversations. I believe she did it to finally get people to shut up. And I’m so glad she shut it DOWN.

  • http://www.sharmakrenia.com Sharma

    Great insight! It wasn’t necessary, but certainly fitting for the occasion. At the end of the day, she is an artist and a savvy business woman who (understandably) did what she felt she needed to do to protect her brand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayelle.d Jayelle Marie

    I love your writers!

  • Sandy

    It was the Presidential Inauguration. If she couldn’t perform, she should have said so so that a real singer could have had that honor.

  • Anthony

    Oh well, even though the criticism of Beyonce was petty, the “controversy” does keep her name in the press which will certainly benefit her bottom line.

  • Nic

    I can’t believe the press gave her the attention that should normally be reserved for the president. I mean, we have a school full of little kids getting slaughtered and real problems but no, let’s stop the presses and let Beyonce show she can sing live.

    Um, yeah, we know you can but it doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t and you should have just said you had a sore throat and wanted it to go off without a hitch. The stupid part was all of the stans who got so riled up for anyone daring to suggest that she lip synced. Once upon a time, singers had to sing and couldn’t use technology on off days, so I dislike the fact that singers don’t have to sing that well anymore, but that’s another topic.

    But, her diction is so awful. She should never be allowed to speak at all.

    I think it just means that as simple as she is, she needs the things that she is known for to be carefully managed and perfect at all times.

    She must be a sorceress for the press to continually act like her every move is more important than wars, healthcare, poverty, etc.

    How many people can even list the most significant things that were really happening while the press was lapping up more non-Beyonce news.

  • Nic

    She says it was about the president but makes it about her with a stupid press conference.

  • Loli

    At this point, I think all the bloggers should cut Beyoncé a check. Don’t you have somebody more interesting to report on? If I were her I would continue doing this to piss off people who care about ME to write about every move I make…

  • Nic

    How did she shut it down? No one said she wasn’t capable of singing the song. But when she shaking her butt and wig on stage, she’s using back tracks, and she used one on that day too. The issue was that she didn’t sing it live like many of the other singers there on the same day, in the same conditions, did to, and I’m sure you were online insisting that was a lie.

    Like all moments, she was able to totally control and manipulate this one, but she didn’t do that at the inauguration. It didn’t prove anything except that the press clearly has too much time on their hands.

  • http://gravatar.com/eynapanirb B.Payne

    Smart move on her part considering the upcoming Super Bowl….the ratings will be highest EVER for the game, I guarantee you come Monday.

    Yes, she’s human and was probably nervous as hell and didn’t want to screw up the inauguration…that happens to the best of us. God, could you imagine the press is she DID screw up? I don’t think they forgave Christina Aguilera, lol

  • http://freya.co freya

    Beyonce is one of the greatest musicians of all time. She is in fact the only contemporary star or her age and experience to earn the title of an icon. She has won 16 Grammy Awards and is a kick-ass performer. You can shut the hell up.

  • Child, Please

    ” It was pretty much dead as people were looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday and seeing if Ray Lewis was going to get “raptured” up from the 50 yard line if the Ravens win.”

    Kisses and more to you for not only mentioning Brotha Ray, but putting in the SNL skit with him “descending into heaven!” LMAO!

  • JN

    Sigh. I’ve avoided commenting on other Beyonce articles for a reason (for the record, I am not a Beyonce fan). I do think that Beyonce, and her PR, get very defensive and over-explain. The thing is, there are some things that she should just not feed into. Some people will take bad pics of her. Not everyone likes Dereon. Some people think her music sucks. Some people will still think she has a fake baby. And not every media site will kiss her a**. She needs to realize that that’s ok. My pastor once taught me that you’ve won when you’ve realized that you don’t have to prove yourself anymore. When you are still doing things to “prove things” you have to begin to question your motives, and why you can’t just let some things go. When you can let some things go, and you actually begin to do so, it is a completely freeing feeling.

  • NY’s Finest

    Musician? Can she play any instruments or even read music? And damn near everyone can win more than one Grammy nowadays because they pass them out like candy on Halloween. She’s a good performer but at the same time, whenever I see her perform I always feel like I’m watching someone else who already did it about twenty years prior, but then again she probably was inspired by them.

  • nattral

    The Inauguration was about the President just like the Super Bowl is about the players and I hate that her lip-sync version sorta overshadowed Obama’s day. We all know Beyonce can sing. She should have released an official statement explaining why she didn’t sing it live and kept it moving. But re-singing the anthem made her look foolish especially since her second version was worse than the first, IMO, and neither version will hold a candle to Whitney’s.

  • Jen Jen

    OT: Can we discuss how much I am hoping the Ravens win, so Ray Lewis can walk to the 50-yd line and get “raptured”? Thanks for posting that clip, Danielle. I’ve been laughing about it since last weekend. Oh yeah, let me get on topic: Beyonce did something. blah, blah, blah. :)

  • gmarie

    I think it just says she was annoyed by all the mindless press the performance had recieved(As was I. Way to shut em up and shut it down. Like dude..10 days later? They were treating it as if she had snubbed the president.

  • Ray Ray

    I’m sorry, Beyonce an’t got nothing on Alisha Keys! I don’t no why in the hell they keep thinking Beyonce is all that when she not. Alisha Keys has a beautiful voice, Class, and a bad ass body. Beyonce’s performance is a repeat of Janet Jackson!

  • gmarie

    @ Nic -UHH..it was Media Day. This is done every year for the super bowl and every half time show performer participates in it. The press conference was not put on specifically to speak about this “controversy” …the press conference wasn’t even put on BY Beyonce. She has a contractual obligation to participate in the press conference as a super bowl half time per former.It was clear the inaguration performance was the only thing on the minds of the press so she addressed it accordingly.

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Clearly Beyonce and that other chick that loves Chris Brown drive Internet traffic and its an unfortunate part of the blogging business that black blogs have had to succumb to to create community. Even so called serious sites like The Root and Huffington post have jump on the bandwagon to survive.

    Like it or not people have a visceral reaction to this woman and can’t help but have an opinion about her. As for her singing. Big Whoop. She paid her campaign & fundraising dues to the Obamas and got her premiere spot. Her singing really isn’t the issue. The issue is and will always be her & her husband’s incredibly staggering amount of success. And damn those peanuts taste salty.

  • Ray Ray

    Was that Blue Ivy’s dress Beyonce performed in yesterday? Check it out

  • MurkyEarth

    What that showed me that Beyonce is drinking a LOT of her own koolaid. Yeesh, she needs to get over herself.

  • Wow

    If you think Beyonce is all that….your head would have exploded if you saw Tina Turner, Lil’ Richard and Atlantic Starr perform………..hell Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam put on a helleva show. Janet Jackson……….The Fresh Fest….
    lot of people dating back to Jesus have put it down before chicken little popped on the scene.

  • The Artist

    I didn’t really see a human side (and this is not to say that she didn’t harbor feelings over the incident)…I think her PR team attempted to do a little damage control in an effort to ease Super Bowl tension. Clearly, she has a voice and didn’t need to over compensate for the inauguration.

  • AJW

    And that she is insecure too.
    She seems like one of those types of people who only expect praise all the time. Hell, her and Jay Z have their fans calling them hova & beysus. SMH. Like they’re gods or something.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Bingo on the whole article. Personally, I don’t think the singing of the national anthem at the press conference was warranted or necessary. Because A) it was not that serious and kind of a lame controversy from the jump and B) she didn’t prove anything because the criticism she received was rooted in that she COULDN’T sing and C) people are going to feel and have their opinions in favor or against you at the end of the day. Honestly, I think the criticism she received was more of a “ha-ha” moment to her fans THAN about Beyoncé, because as already stated her fans kind of brought this on her because they place her so high on a pedestal while criticizing and discrediting others especially after following the Inauguration event. But at the end of the day she sounded like…well Beyoncé to me, not flawless but not bad.

  • k

    This may be one of the few times shes even acknowledged anything that is being said about her really. People say A LOT of things about her that she ignores. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying but I also believe that people have a right to speak up for themselves…

    The inauguration is a historic day that will be remembered pretty much forever. i wouldnt have let that one go either. People were saying some really horrible things about her

  • jordannnreneee

    just seems like she had a bruised ego after the inaugaration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    And now I totally see why she lip-synched at the inaugural. She just isn’t a great singer. Her vocal skills have always been highly overrated, but she really exposed her vocal mediocrity yesterday. If she were on American Idol, they would have called her out on that bad pitch and the breathing problem. That huffing and puffing, good lord! No wonder she lip synchs most of her concerts. If she can’t even stand still and sing a short song without sounding like she needs an inhaler, of course she’s not singing when she’s doing her dance routines. But she did say she’ll be singing completely live at the Super Bowl. Yes, she insists she’ll be singing live just like she insists she writes her own songs.

  • And the Posts Just Keep Coming…….

    Whether you hate her or lover her……you have to admit that Beyonce is THAT chick!! I dont know of any other celebrity who can garner as much media attention as Beyonce has over the past month. Other performers have lip-synched, sung over a pre-recorded track, and performed at the Super Bowl. Beyonce is not the first, nor will she be the last to do so. I guess all things Beyonce (good or bad) appear to gain national and international media attention. Case in point: the countless posts about her on this blog and others within the last week…..

  • Em

    The author contradicted the entire point of the article by actually writing an article about the issue being irrelevant/blown over. If it’s not news why write about. She how that works? She’s damned if she do or damned if she don’t. I think she’s a talented entertainer and people are quick to criticize regardless.

  • Ms. Lee

    I feel like this post was totally unnecessary. What Beyonce Re-Singing the National Anthem at a Press Conference Says About Beyonce, who cares.

  • Libby

    “I think I need a barber
    None of these n***** can fade me
    I’m so good with this
    I remind you I’m so hood with this”

    –Beyoncé, “Run The World (Girls)”

    Yeah, genius ! LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    And yet for all the attention, she hasn’t had a number one hit since Bush was President and can’t seem to get anyone to buy her albums anymore.

    But hey, as long as they’re talking about a fake pregnancy, lip-synching, or her wigs, it’s all good, right?

    She seems more concerned with attention, no matter how negative, than actually trying to be a successful artist. But when you’re a moderate talent whose success is based mostly on your hype machine, you gotta do what you gotta do when people are fawning over the Adele’s of the world, now don’t you?

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    +1@Ray Ray

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    The singing part was okay, IMO, at the press conference. The talking part, on the other hand, was hilarious. I keep wondering why Bey’s people let her speak in public? Lol. WTF! Whenever she speaks I swear she seems like a robot whose battery is failing. Lol. OMG, Bey is so unintentionally funny.

  • KK

    @RayRay
    I only came here to say one thing and that is that Alicia Keys is probably one of the worst singers of this generation and the most interesting thing is that she seems to have so many people fooled or maybe a lot of eardrums are just destroyed already due to her horrible screaming. I almost died when she ruined Prince’s Adore when honoring him or when at first she used to be labelled as” Neosoul”
    This said, I actually really like Elements of Freedom

    Beyonce is definitely not on my list of most competent singers, but she still can carry a tune and most stays in her lane unlike Alicia with her pseudo authentic(deep) music

    For such, artists like Michelle Ndegecello, Jill Scott serve up better authentic music.

  • KK

    Would it make you feel better to know the press conference wasn’t just because she is “Beyonce”, every year there is a press conference for half-time performers e.g Madonna, Prince, BEP all had one.

    “But, her diction is so awful. She should never be allowed to speak at all”

    This statement I have heard so much and all I can say is , yet people wonder how come there is so much bullying in schools.
    It’s like you know this is her handicap and you won’t give up on using it to insult her, that along with her perceived lower intelligence.

    This is one of the few times I have posted on this website, I typically just prefer reading the articles/comments but I have always being puzzled by why so many feel the need to post the same disparaging personal comments every time and even multiple times in the same article about artists they don’t like, why not just mostly limit the repetitive criticism to her music/singing abilities after all her job is not to talk to you, it is to sing/entertain you.

  • Kay

    Meh, I couldn’t care less. *shrugs*

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    I can’t stand Beyonce and her extraordinarily overhyped “brand” but even i thought the whole bruhahaha about the lip syncing is stupid. Its not like we don’t all know what her singing voice sounds like. And now this, i see nothing savvy about it. Its just a middle finger to the people talking nonsense, rightly so i suppose. I didn’t actually see/hear her sing so whether she shut it down or sounded like a wounded moose, i can’t judge.

  • AM

    I’m HERE for you Kelley, like TOTALLY!! LAWD. Girl, I tell ya, that museum of comments is real! :)

  • Señorita

    I’m not the biggest fan of Beyonce and I’ve stated before that I don’t know why she had to explain herself to anyone!!! Now, she’s getting more press than the actual superbowl itself…which is soooo irritating. Somewhere in the back of my mind though I’m questioning her reasons for singin the national anthem. Is she (in some slick sneaky way) trying to overshadow Alicia Keys singin the national anthem at the Super Bowl?? I can’t wait until the Super Bowl is over so they can stop talking about that girl!!! Sheesh!

  • Old TImer

    I didn’t get a sense of “perfectionism” at all. All I could sense was “I got caught, and had to pick my ego up off of the floor.”

  • Old TImer

    Not to mention stealing other peoples choreography and dance moves as if Europeans wouldn’t catch on when she SOMEHOW has the same moves as their favorite artists. All the while Fanboys and girls here idolize this fake hair, skin, nails, voice, baby etc etc etc

  • NY’s Finest

    But why not defend someone likeFantasia when ppl are always making fun of the way she speaks and the fact that she didn’t complete high school?

  • Nic

    I know right…now if she’s going to lip sync, they should get a track for her to talk over that uses someone else’s voice when she has to speak. She just sounds like a 3rd grade drop out who was in the slow reading group. It is truly cringe-worthy that no one has been able to fix THAT, but I guess you can’t cover it up with a wig, so what’s she going to do.

  • Nic

    What is so horrible about saying she lip synced when she did? You sound like the people who say it’s so awful to call a racist a racist.

  • Nic

    Well, I think she addressed it b/c there is only so much talking she can do before it just becomes uncomfortable for everyone. It’s not like she can answer real questions without help.

  • Nic

    I’d say bingo on your whole comment.

  • KK

    @NY’s Finest

    ” I have always being puzzled by why so many feel the need to post the same disparaging personal comments every time and even multiple times in the same article about artists they don’t like, why not just mostly limit the repetitive criticism to her music/singing abilities”

    I believe in this statement I mentioned Artists in general and just referenced Beyonce particularly, as this post is about her. So yes it would apply to Fantasia as well

  • GlowBelle

    …and this is the woman Michelle Obama cites as a role model for her daughters?

    The “re-singing” at the press conference was unnecessary and just proves (once again) how weak of a singer Beyonce is and how full of herself she really is. Her “look at meeee!!” attitude has become even more grating than before. Actually I’m glad this little Inauguration backlash happened (even though it was terrible that it overshadowed the history making day) because I think Beyonce for a long time didn’t realize that not everyone is loving what she’s shilling and called her out on her mediocrity.

  • amy03

    Another Beyoncé post! I like her songs but sometimes it’s annoying to see her everywhere. And it’s not entirely her fault, it’s also the media’s fault. Whenever I see a Beyoncé post, I just scroll down to read the comments. And no, people didn’t forget. They were all like “Is she going to lip-sync at the Superbowl too?”, “She can’t sing”, etc. Seriously, people? Denying that she’s talented is stupid. Just say that her music is not your cup of tea. The amount of hate she receives is unbelievable. Of course she didn’t have to re-sing it to show her ability and yes, she’s just adding fuel to the fire. But I can understand that she felt hurt. Some people will say she did it to have more publicity. Oh well, people will say what they want to say!

  • Anon

    I agree. She didn’t sound good live. She is a studio singer. She doesn’t sound like like a person who songs for a living.

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