Beyonce walked onto the stage for her Super Bowl XLVII press conference and asked everyone to rise.
She then belted out a stunning a cappella rendition of the national anthem and, when she was finished, faced the music with a saucy little quip: “Any questions?”
Game, set, match, Beyonce.
After the laughter died down, she admitted that she did not perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” live at the inauguration of President Obama on Jan. 21.
“I am a perfectionist,” she said, “and one thing about me: I practice until my feet bleed. I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live television show and a very, very important, emotional show for me, one of my proudest moments. Due to the weather, due to the delay, 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 prerecorded track, which is very common in the music industry. I’m very proud of my performance.”
Beyonce had not addressed her “live-or-Memorex” performance at the Inauguration since a Marine Band’s representative pulled back the curtain on Oz. She won’t be lip-syncing Sunday in her 12-minute halftime performance before the largest TV viewing audience of the year. ”I will absolutely be singing live,” she said. “I am well-rehearsed and I will absolutely be singing live. This is what I was born to do, what I was born for.”
Whether the halftime show will feature, perhaps, a Destiny’s Child reunion or her husband, Jay-Z, Beyonce wasn’t saying. “I can’t really give you any details,” she said. “I’m sorry.” She was just coy as when asked to name her set list. The only thing she did admit to was a case of the jitters, just as Madonna did last year.
“I’m nervous. When I was driving up, I got chills looking at the Superdome,” she said. “There’s so much history there.”