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.
Rivera entertaining thoughts of Senate run
NEWARK, N.J. – Geraldo Rivera says he’s seriously thinking about running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.
Rivera, who hosts a weekend show on Fox News Channel, said Thursday on his daily radio show on WABC-AM in New York that he’s “truly contemplating” becoming a candidate. He said he has spoken to some people in the New Jersey Republican Party about a run.
Rivera asked his 30,000 Twitter followers how they feel about him challenging either Sen. Frank Lautenberg or Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
At 89, Lautenberg is the oldest sitting U.S. senator. The Democrat hasn’t said if he will seek re-election.
Booker, also a Democrat, has announced he is exploring a run but hasn’t made clear if he would challenge Lautenberg in a primary should he seek another term.
No Republican has formally announced an interest in running.
Harris charged in hit-and-run 4 months later
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles prosecutors have charged country star Emmylou Harris with misdemeanor hit-and-run related to an accident last year.
The Grammy-winning singer was charged Wednesday for failing to exchange information with a driver whose car she hit on a Beverly Hills freeway on Oct. 1.
A criminal complaint filed in Beverly Hills did not contain additional details about the accident or how much damage occurred.
Harris, 65, has won a dozen Grammys for her solo work and collaborations with artists such as Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Alison Krauss and others.
Harris continues to tour and is scheduled to release an album of duets in late February.