It seemed as though Beyonce Knowles could do no wrong. Married to hip-hop's CEO, Jay-Z, a staunch supporter of President Barack Obama and the strongest female figure in music for years, why, she was the perfect choice to perform the national anthem Obama's inauguration, wasn't she?

Well, it turns out that she was the perfect person to mime Star Spangled Banner, not sing it, as a spokesperson for the event has confirmed to the times that B was moving her lips along but nothing was coming out. The spokeswoman said, "We did pre-record it and it was Beyonce's decision at the last minute to go with the pre-recorded version. We pre-recorded all music as a matter of course and have done since time immemorial," she said. "This is our 54th inauguration...There is no question of there not being any music - it's not because the performer cannot do it."

The stars combined in Washington DC, as part of a run of musical events to celebrate Obama's second inauguration. Kelly Clarkson sung My Country 'Tis of Thee and James Taylor performed America the Beautiful, but, given Beyonce's recent exposure, it's hard to tell who actually sung what. We shouldn't really be surprised, though, as Whitney Houston's 1991 rendition of the anthem -- widely regarded as the greatest we've ever heard from a pop singer was also lip-synched.