Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan.
Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Turns out that Beyonce's big, wonderful rendition of the national anthem at President Obama's inauguration on Monday wasn't live after all. Word leaked Tuesday that the singer was lip-synching.

This is terribly disappointing. It's kind of like hearing that Whitney Houston didn't really sing live at the 1991 Super Bowl either.

Oh ... whoops.

Beyonce kind of shot herself in the foot on this one. She posted a photo Sunday to Instagram, showing her in a recording studio with the sheet music to "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of a microphone attached to a recording device. In another photo, she sits in front of recording equipment while members of the Marine Corps Band stand clutching sheet music behind her.

D'oh.

The London Times reportedly verified on Tuesday that Beyonce wasn't really singing. Various members of the press seated just below the podium commented that it didn't look like Beyonce was singing, nor was the President's Marine Corps Band really playing, even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments.

I feel used.

This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. At President Obama's 2009 inauguration, cold weather and wind meant that a live performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman had to be nixed in favor of a recording. But there are no previously known cases of a singer lip-syncing the national anthem during an inaugural performance.

Reports said that Kelly Clarkson, who performed "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," did indeed sing live.

"We don't know why Beyonce decided to use prerecorded music," a spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band told the Washingtonian on Tuesday. "All music (for inaugural ceremonies) is prerecorded as a matter of course, and that's something we've done for years and years. The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony but we received last-minute word that Beyonce wanted to use the recording."

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com