Did Beyonce Lip Sync? Does it Matter?

Let’s cut her some slack, okay?

You guys, really? Does it even matter if Beyonce lip synced her performance of the national anthem at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony for President Obama? She was performing the national anthem to honor the President. That was America’s most symbolically important musical moment of the year, so it makes sense that she wouldn’t want to screw it up.

If she actually did lip sync, then it was obviously Beyonce’s voice on the recording. And she’s performed live enough times to prove that she’s amazing. (Remember this? ) So let’s not pretend she sucks now. She was simply guaranteeing that she gave the nation the anthem it needed on this important day.

This isn’t the same as lip-syncing before a paying audience at a concert, where the entire point is hearing an artist perform live. This is a ceremonial duty, and if she had sucked, then the president’s inauguration would have been tarnished.

And yes, yes: Kelly Clarkson sang live and killed it, but “My Country ’Tis of Thee” is not nearly as challenging to sing as the national anthem, and it doesn’t carry the same symbolic weight. There was less pressure on that performance.

And consider this: Barack Obama didn’t even get sworn in yesterday. Not officially. He was officially sworn in on Sunday, in a private ceremony in the White House. So Obama was kind of lip-syncing, too. Everything that happened on Monday was symbolic, not actual.

Plus, let’s not forget that Whitney Houston lip-synced her version of the Star Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl. And most of us agree that’s a great performance of the song. And you know why we think that? Because Whitney went into a studio and made sure that mess was on point. Because in January 1991, the country was in the midst of the Gulf War, and we needed an incredible anthem. So Whitney made sure we got one. Same deal with Beyonce. At the end of the day, she actually did sing the anthem and sound amazing. The fact that she may have done so in a studio is hardly the point.

Mark Blankenship still thinks Beyonce rocks, y’all. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.