Soul icon Aretha Franklin "cracked up" with laughter when she heard reports suggesting Beyonce did not perform the National Anthem live during U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Monday (21Jan13).
The Halo hitmaker wowed a crowd of more than 800,000 people with a flawless rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, backed by the U.S. Marine Band as Obama was sworn in to begin his second term in office, but it has since emerged that the beauty's performance may not have been as live as fans thought it was.
New audio footage and reports suggest she used a pre-recorded studio version of the track to bolster her voice, allegedly due to the freezing temperatures.
The revelation came as a surprise to many, and although Franklin couldn't help but laugh at the media reaction to the news, she insists Beyonce still put on a great show.
Speaking to ABC News on Tuesday (22Jan13), the veteran singer, who covered My Country 'Tis of Thee live at Obama's 2009 inauguration, said, "When I heard the news... that she was pre-recorded I really laughed. I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees (Fahrenheit) and for most singers that is just not good singing weather.
"When I heard that I just really cracked up. I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record... Next time I'll probably do the same.
"In 2009, I wanted everything to be live and on the real side for the moment as it actually happened. Those were my feelings for my performance, but having come face to face with 28, 22 degrees I am not surprised she pre-recorded. She wanted her performance to be what she wanted (it) to be and she realised it wasn't going to be the way she wanted it to be or she was going to be running a risk. That's probably why she pre-recorded exactly how she wanted it to be heard."
The Queen of Soul isn't the only artist supporting Beyonce over the controversy - Jennifer Lopez insists, "All performers do have to do it at some point", while LeAnn Rimes adds, "There are times when people will ask you to do it (lip-sync) and they will not let you do it (the gig) unless you do it because they want control over what happens."
Beyonce herself has yet to confirm or deny speculation she was lip-syncing during the big performance.