One of the strangest recent scandals to mix politics and celebrity took a dramatic turn late Tuesday afternoon: After her inauguration backup band first claimed that Beyoncé lip-synced her rendition of the national anthem (sending everyone into a fit), a new Associated Press report implies that may not be the case (but everyone's still pretty unsure). The spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Band, Master Sgt. Kristin DuBois, told multiple outlets (including the New York Times) early on Tuesday that Beyoncé used a pre-recorded version of "The Star Spangled Banner" while the band played live, but as night fell Brett Zongker of the AP reported that the Marine Corps had "backed off that statement." Per Zongker:
Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said that because there was no opportunity for Beyonce to rehearse with the Marine Band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill advised. Instead they used a pre-recorded track for the band's portion of the song.
"Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance," Wolf's statement continued, "no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
Now, this statement conflicts with what DuBois told the New York Post: "We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know what the (sic) reason why." Was everyone really faking this thing or not?
Beyoncé believers are already shunning those that doubted her:
Amazed how the internet has declared Beyonce's Anthem a lip sync. It wasn't. She was singing live to prerecorded music in earpiece. #WebFAIL— Barton Bishoff (@BartonBishoff) January 22, 2013
And even those that were grief-stricken are speaking out:
MARINE CORPS TERRIFIED OF BEYONCE! RECANTS LIP SYNCH ALLEGATIONS! hrld.us/VS75kp— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) January 22, 2013
So now we don't know what to believe. Does the Marine Band have it out for Beyoncé? Or did someone from Beyoncé's team get to them trying to do damage control? We'd be afraid of her, too. In the meantime, Beyoncé has yet to speak out publicly on the strange little affair, but someone's bound to get to the bottom of this:
Stay tuned for updates, but in the meantime, here's the case for Beyoncé, and here's all the available evidence that she lip-synced. Oh, and here's the performance again, if you want to try and judge for yourself: