(New York Daily News) - Fans were crazy in love with Beyoncé’s jaw-dropping inaugural performance of the national anthem — until it emerged Tuesday the diva apparently lip-synched her rousing rendition.
The sultry singer belted out a soulful and pitch-perfect version of the “Star Spangled Banner” Monday to the delight of President Obama and a host of other politicians at the inauguration festivities.
“And THAT’S why she’s the No1 performer in world music.....incredible!” tweeted an emotional CNN host Piers Morgan.
“Her confidence is so amazing,” added one Twitter fan, while another praised her for “looking and sounding amazing ... and for remembering all the words.”
But fans were singing a different tune Tuesday when a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band revealed Beyoncé’s patriotism was prefab.
Master Sgt. Kristin duBois said the Marine Band played live for every song — except Beyoncé’s national anthem. The band and Beyoncé bluffed their way through a prerecorded version, she said.
Her comments burned up the Twittersphere as duped fans expressed outrage.
“Apparently Beyoncé’s inauguration performance was as dope as Lance Armstrong biking through the French Alps,” said one disappointed fan.
“Its like when i found out santa claus wasnt real... how can you do this humanity?” wrote another.
One even compared the former lead singer the all-girls’ group Destiny’s Child to Milli Vanilli — the Euro-pop duo that couldn’t warble on key but, like Beyoncé, had the looks to sell anything.
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.
Beyoncé, like all the other performers, taped her rendition Sunday night.
“American Idol” star Kelly Clarkson and folk guitarist James Taylor braved the cold to perform live — and Clarkson didn’t stint on the high notes in her souped-up version of “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”
Beyoncé’s camp didn’t respond to requests for comment, but one industry insider said the use of a recording at big events is fairly typical.
“It’s not a big deal, inside the music industry or out,” said Joe Levy, editor of Billboard magazine.
In 1991, Whitney Houston gave a now-famous performance at the Super Bowl that was aided by a prerecorded soundtrack, and other stars like Jennifer Hudson and Faith Hill have done the same.
During Obama’s first inauguration, cellist Yo-Yo Ma even “hand-synched” his performance because the 19-degree weather was too cold for his instrument to function properly.
“It is a common practice in high-profile settings where it is impossible to hear yourself,” Levy added. “There are times when you want it to be perfect, and a presidential inauguration ranks as one of those. It’s got nothing to do with your ability to sing or not. Nobody questions [Beyoncé’s] ability to sing. ”
Nobody, that is, but the millions of fans who are now prepped to watch Beyoncé’s every breath when she hits the stage Feb. 3 to headline the Super Bowl’s halftime show.
“She is better off singing live at the Super Bowl,” said Robert Schultz, 43, from Queens. “If you are a singer, sing. She has to. ... People are going to be watching closely.”
Anything can happen, of course. On Tuesday, Beyoncé tweeted a picture of herself already in New Orleans nearly two weeks before the big game — plenty of time to prerecord an entire show.