Sunday, February 3, 2013
First off let me be clear, I love Beyoncé! Beautiful, talented and classy. I have all her music, I have performance on DVD and have seen most of her appearances on Award Shows and specials. When the brou ha ha over whether she was lip syncing at the inauguration arose, I was team Beyoncé all the way. I didn't know why anyone would care and why anyone would think to criticize her if she did. Unlike Britney and even Madonna, whose vocals may not be that strong, Beyoncé has proved over and over she has the power to nail almost any song. Given the importance of the day, if she was lip syncing, why would anyone care?
But then, I watched her press conference...
Like most everyone, I was initially in awe of the 'fuck you' she gave the press and haters with her amazing live singing of the National Anthem. Then however, she spoke. I lost a bit of respect for Beyoncé for a few reasons. First for her excuses, second for implying it is commonplace, and third for making it seem she does not do this pretty much everytime she performs at a function. She had lots of preparation time, enough to record a flawless redintion to sing to. For the record, singing to a back track might be a gentle way of saying it, but singing to track is indeed simply lip syncing. It is also not true everyone does it, many do not. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor had the same pressures, time constraints, and weather, and both managed to sing live. Clarkson also managed a great rendition at last years Superbowl and Christina Aguilera a flawed but still live version the year before.
Watching Beyoncé perform so many times means you know she almost always 'sings to track'. The inauguration was not an exception, but what she usually does. At Award shows, Saturday Night Live and most other television appearances. Just because you add a 'thank you' or big 'yeah yeah' live at the end of the track does not mean watchers don't know you did not sing live. I will never forget the Kennedy Center Honors when Barbara Streisand was getting her award. Singer after singer came out and sang, some like Idina Menzel did not come off so well, but that is what happens when singing live. Then, Beyoncé rose up from the below the stage, lip syncing a flawless rendition of Memories. I hope Idinia Menzel feels a bit vindicated this week, while Beyoncé got raves, the press were not as kind to her. I just wish Beyoncé didn't play it safe at her press conference, making excuses, and acting like she doesn't sing to track on a regular basis. There is nothing really wrong with it, except although she was sort of honest she really didn't tell the whole truth.