When we heard the news that Beyonce had mimed the Star Spangled Banner at President Obama's inauguration, we weren't that bothered. In fact, our resident music expert pointed out that Yo-Yo Ma used a pre-recorded backing track when he played cello at the first inauguration in 2009. And it's like -6 degrees centigrade in Washington DC right now, which can be murder on the old vocal cords.
Tell you who does care, though. Aretha Franklin cares. Because she sang My Country 'Tis Of Thee at the 2009 party, and she didn't lip-sync:
"When I heard the news this evening that she was pre-recorded I really laughed."
"I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees 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."
The whole thing has been blown out of proportion with headlines like "ARETHA FRANKLIN LAUGHED AT Beyonce'S MIMING!" but really, she's just saying that she totally understands why Beyonce decided to lip-sync. She did point out that she sang live in 2009, though:
"I wanted to give people the real thing."
"Pre-recording never crossed my mind."
See, when Aretha wants to throw shade at you, she does it subtly. Subtly. Like a wolf. That's our Aretha.