By Chris Strauss, USA TODAY Sports
NEW ORLEANS - Beyonce had a very bold answer for critics of her inaugural performance.
The Grammy award winning performer opened her Super Bowl press conference with a rousing two minute live rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, followed by an admission that she did indeed use a pre-recorded track while singing the anthem at President Obama's inauguration nearly two weeks ago.
"I am a perfectionist. I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra for a live television show and a very very important emotional show for me one of my proudest moments," Beyonce told the assembled crowd at the New Orleans Convention Center. "I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make him and our country proud so I decided to sing along with my prerecorded track. I'm very proud of my performance.
Nearly two weeks after the "did she or didn't she lip sync" debate began, the singer said she would not be utilizing the same kind of assistance during Sunday's Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show, which she's been preparing for over the past four months.
"I will absolutely be singing live," Beyonce said. "This is what I was born to do."
The Grammy award winning performer hadn't commented on the inauguration lip syncing controversy publicly prior to the press conference, although the U.S. Marine Band confirmed the morning after the inauguration that she was lip-syncing and the band only pretended to accompany her, then by evening retracted that confirmation, saying no one in the band was in a position to know. Beyonce said that while she did use a pre-recorded track of her vocals at the event, she was also singing along at the time.
Now that she has buried that controversy, the biggest mysteries of Sunday's performance will be whether she'll be reuniting with former bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to perform as Destiny's Child and whether her husband Jay-Z will make an appearance onstage.
"I don't know," she said coyly. "I can't really give you any details. I'm sorry."
Beyonce said that one of the hardest things in putting the set list together has been deciding which songs to add to a 12-minute performance. She hinted that fans will likely be able to see much longer sets in the next year or so, saying that she may have a tour announcement right after the performance.
At least one player in Sunday's game is disappointed he'll be missing the show. Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said he wishes he could watch Beyonce's halftime performance instead of being in the locker room. Watching a recording of it later off his DVR just won't be the same.
"I definitely want to see her sing something that's high tempo, and also something where she can show her voice," Smith said. "She's so talented. There aren't too many people like her. Maybe she should do Crazy in Love. Jay Z coming out would be pretty cool."
USA TODAY Sports