Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Give Beyonce a Break: Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Also Had Recorded Help for Inauguration


Beyonce is getting dragged over the coals for singing with a guide track at the Inaugural swearing in. But listen, kids, she was not lip synching. The pre-tapes are done by all live shows just in case something goes wrong. Today I spoke with the pastor from the Brooklyn Tabernacle and guess what?

The choir–300 strong– had help during their number from their CD. “It’s impossible to get 300 voices blended in the wind and cold like that,” says Pastor Jim about his amazing group. “They sang live, but they had some help from a track.”

Who didn’t have a pre-record? Pastor Jim’s wonderful soloist, Alicia Olatuja. Also, James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson. But “The Star Spangled Banner” is notoriously tough, and Beyonce wasn’t wrong to have a guide track. You can hear her singing live at the beginning of the song, too. Alicia, by the way, comes from St. Louis, home of great singers like the late Fontella Bass.

Pastor Jim says, “She’s been getting calls from the media all the time since Monday.”

Meanwhile, local Brooklynites and New Yorkers of all kinds are invited to come over at 3pm this Sunday to hear Alicia and the whole Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir perform “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” live, with no recordings, and indoors where it’s nice and warm. The Tabernacle is very easy to find, just over the Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan Bridge, on Smith Street in Flatbush.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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