While Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor performed live at President Barack Obama's second inauguration on Monday, Beyonce opted instead to lip sync her way through the National Anthem, offering up a flawless performance that many viewers were upset to discover had actually been recorded earlier.
"We all know Beyonce can sing," Master Sgt. of the U.S. Marine Band Kristin duBois told ABC News on Tuesday. "We all know the Marine Corps Band can play. We do not know why she decided to go with the pre-recorded music at the last minute."
All music for the inauguration ceremony is prerecorded "because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day," DuBois told the New York Post. The band had to fake it along with the singer, The Washingtonian reported, and Beyonce hurried off stage the instant the music ended.
Beyonce's performance wasn't the main event, and it's incredibly difficult to sing live in cold and windy weather, so why does everyone seem so betrayed? Big stars lip sync all the time -- they just don't often get caught. Here's a look at some other famously fake performances:
It was more than 20 years ago that Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus -- also known as Milli Vanilli -- were stripped of their Best New Artist Grammy award, setting the gold standard for lip-syncing embarrassment. What's worse: The voices they were crooning along to weren't even their own. "Girl You Know It's True"? Turned out, it wasn't.
You may not remember her name, but the uproar over 9-year-old Lin Miaoke's lip-syncing during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was unforgettable. She looked lovely at Bird's Nest national stadium, but the soaring voice we all heard actually belonged to 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who officials decided sounded better but wasn't "cute" enough. "I think there were a number of candidates to sing that song and at the end of the day the artistic director picked the best voice and the best performer," Sun Weide, the spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee, told news outlets at the time.
Simpson started having trouble with her voice during dress rehearsals for her October 2004 appearance on "Saturday Night Live," but she might have gotten away with her lip-syncing solution if someone hadn't hit the wrong button, cuing up the wrong track and leaving her onstage with her mouth closed while her voice echoed throughout the studio. She later blamed her decision to fake the performance on a bad bout of acid reflux.
Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman
It's not lip-syncing, exactly, but it's the instrumental equivalent. It was windy and freezing cold at President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009, and world-renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman performed "Air and Simple Gifts" by John Williams, but opted to play along to a recording made two days earlier. "It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way," Perlman told The New York Times. "This occasion's got to be perfect. You can't have any slip-ups."
The cast of "X Factor"
Fans found out the hard way that reality talent shows aren't entirely real. During the opening group number of "The X Factor," contestants took turns singing lines from "Without You" -- sort of. About 27 seconds in, contestant Leroy Bell opened his mouth a moment after his voice started coming through the speakers. Turns out that many of the group performances on "The X Factor" and on "American Idol" are pre-recorded in order to let the contestants save their voices for the competition itself. "All competitive songs, including survival songs, are performed live to a backing track," producers explained in a statement. "Due to the finalists' extensive preparation for their Wednesday night performances, the opening ensemble number on the results show is prerecorded, the same way as on other shows."
During a performance at the 2007 BET Awards, someone cued up the wrong version of 50 Cent's "Amusement Park," forcing the rapper to wander through the audience until he could get back on track.