Sideshow: Oh, say, could she sing ... live?

Beyoncé gave what seemed a spirited performance of the national anthem - but was it all an act?
Beyoncé gave what seemed a spirited performance of the national anthem - but was it all an act? (CAROLYN KASTER / Associated Press)
Posted: January 23, 2013

Surely no public figure save Oprah is as beloved as Beyoncé. Artist, wife, lover, and mother, she can do no wrong.

Until yesterday.

Originally, the Times of London reported that Master Sgt. Kristin DuBois, a spokeswoman for Beyoncé's backing act, the President's Own United States Marine Band, said B's highly praised, passionate, rousing rendition of the national anthem at the presidential inauguration was - canned. She lip-synced it.

But later, a Marine Corps spokesman clarified: Because there was no opportunity for Beyoncé to rehearse with the band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised. Instead, they used a prerecorded track - band members had to pretend to play.

As for whether B's voice was prerecorded, the spokesman couldn't say.

    Beyoncé! Tell us it ain't so!

It was confirmed that Kelly Clarkson's rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" was live.

The Roots Picnic lineup

On Tuesday the Roots announced the lineup for the sixth annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier. This year's festivities - scaled back to one day after last year's two-day fete - will take place June 1 and feature Ryan Lewis, Solange, Macklemore, Naughty by Nature (backed by the Roots), DJ Premier, Grimes, Gary Clark Jr., Araab Muzik, Robert Glasper, Sonnymoon, How to Dress Well, and more. It's a little hip-hop, a little indie rock, and a little electro, and, with Glasper and Clark on the bill, both jazz and the blues will be represented.

- Dan DeLuca

Prince Harry troubles some

Should a military hero speak candidly about his actions on the battlefield? Apparently not if he's a British royal.

Prince Harry, 28, is facing a heap of criticism after he used an unfortunate metaphor to describe his encounters with the enemy in Afghanistan. The army captain, who says he has killed insurgents during his latest 20-week tour of duty, told the BBC Monday night his job copiloting an Apache helicopter is like playing video games. "It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox," Harry said. "So with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful."

Harry, known by his men as Captain Wales and nicknamed Ugly, shared his philosophy when it comes to firing on the enemy.

"Take a life to save a life," he said. "That's what we revolve around, I suppose."

Chris Brown, victim

Chris Brown is the latest victim of the so-called swatting prank that's been laying waste to Los Angeles and its celeb population. The Los Angeles Times says police descended on Brown's pad after receiving a domestic disturbance call. Brown wasn't there, only his staff. Brown's house was stormed, SWAT-like, by cops once before, in '09, after his assault on gf Rihanna. Swatting vics include Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, and Miley Cyrus.

Tidbits 'n' pieces

Lindsay Lohan's career may be in free fall, but it seems she doesn't think she's hit rock bottom: TMZ says LiLo has turned down, not without disdain, $550,000 to do Dancing With the Stars. . . . Barbara Walters remains hospitalized with a low-grade fever after taking a spill Saturday night. . . . New Kids on the Block will be joined by 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men for a tour that'll hit the Wells Fargo Center in Philly on June 15.


This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

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