NEW ORLEANS -- Beyonce faced the music at a news conference Thursday before the Super Bowl, admitting that she sang along to a pre-recorded track when she performed the national anthem on Inauguration Day.
The singer said she’s a "perfectionist" and wanted her performance for President Barack Obama to be memorable. She called the day "emotional."
"I practice until my feet bleed and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra," she said. "Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance."
She opened her news conference in New Orleans with a live rendition of the national anthem that mirrored the one on Inauguration Day. She asked those at the conference to stand before she belted "The Star Spangled Banner," and after, she said with a laugh: "Any questions?"
And despite her performance, there were. When pressed about whether any sound was coming from her voice when she sang for the president, she said she was singing along to the track and not mimicking. And when asked if she would be singing live at the Super Bowl, she said: "I will absolutely be singing live.
"This is what I was born to do."
The superstar hadn’t spoken publicly since it was alleged that she lip-synched at the inauguration last week. Her critically praised performance came under scrutiny less than a day later when a representative from the U.S. Marine Band said she wasn’t singing live and the band’s accompanying performance was taped. Shortly after, the group backed off its initial statement and said no one could tell if she was singing live or not.
The halftime performance became a main focus of her press conference, even though she’d likely rather concentrate on questions about her set list for Sunday and her upcoming HBO documentary, "Life Is but a Dream," which was shown for the media just before Beyonce spoke.
Beyonce has teased photos and video of herself preparing for the show, which will perhaps be the biggest audience of her career. Last year, Madonna’s halftime performance was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime performance ever, with an average of 114 million viewers. It garnered more viewers than the game itself, which was the most-watched U.S. TV event in history.