Word came from a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band that the band was told last minute that Beyonce would not be singing live.
"The entire performance was live except for the national anthem," Master Sgt. Kristin duBois told The New York Times and other outlets. "We don't know why. But that is what we were instructed to do so that is what we did. It's not because Beyonce can't sing. We all know Beyonce can sing. We all know the Marine Band can play."
But by late afternoon, the Marine Corps backed off the statement. Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said in a statement that because there was no opportunity for Beyonce to rehearse with the band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill advised. Instead they used a pre-recorded track for the band's portion of the song.
"Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance," Wolf said, "no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
A representative for Beyonce did not respond to requests for comment.
All inaugural music is pre-recorded in case weather conditions or other circumstances threaten the program.
Kelly Clarkson's representative said she sang live to perform "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
If she did lip sync, Beyonce wouldn't be the only performer to fake it at an inauguration. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was questioned about "hand-syncing" for Obama's first inauguration. Ma cited the 19-degree weather, saying the bitter cold caused the instruments to not work properly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.