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Marine Corps emails show preps for Beyonce inaugural lip-sync

Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013.  (AP / Carolyn Kaster)
Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP / Carolyn Kaster)
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Updated: 5/02/2013 5:37 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Internal U.S. Marine Corps emails obtained by Channel 2 Action News show preparations for a lip-sync performance by Beyonce at President Obama's 2013 Inauguration Ceremony in Washington began days before the event and would ultimately lead to a "nail-biting" decision over whether the singer would perform the "The Star-Spangled Banner" live or instead use a pre-recorded track.

A Marine Corps staffer email dated Jan. 16 indicates the Marine Corps band had just recently recorded its musical accompaniment of the national anthem, and made it available in encrypted form for representatives of Beyonce.

The staffer suggests the use of "dropbox" technology for the singer's representatives to send pre-recorded vocals.

Separate emails sent Jan. 19 indicate either Beyonce or one of her representatives used the words, "I'm putting myself in the line of fire" when discussing pre-recording plans for her inauguration performance.

The emails say it would be a "preference" to sing live, but concern is expressed about the lack of rehearsal time. One email suggests a final decision would be made close to performance time. One government staff member wrote a decision would be "a nail biter right to the end."

Emails suggesting a final decision to opt for a lip-sync was made before 8 a.m. on Jan. 20, one day before the ceremony.

Referencing cold weather during Inaugural festivities, one Marine Corps staffer wrote: "If the predicted 'Arctic Front' really rolls in, a synced performance may be inevitable."

Revelations that Beyonce lip-synced surfaced soon after the ceremony and triggered strong reaction from fellow musicians and a formal press conference by the singer days later.

A FOX News summary of her press conference said, "I am a perfectionist. And one thing about me: I practice 'till my feet bleed. I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live television show... Due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check... I did not feel comfortable singing live."

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