ennifer Hudson used a backing track for her dramatic version of “The Star Spangled Banner” Sunday at the Super Bowl, the pre-game show’s producer says.
Ricky Minor, the producer, told the Associated Press after the performance that he insisted that Hudson use the vocal track she submitted to the NFL a week before the game instead of singing live.
“That’s the right way to do it,” Minor said. “There … [are] too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”
Representatives for Hudson and the NFL did not respond to email and voice-mail messages requesting comment. But it is typical of performers at big stadium events to use backing tracks. Artists from U2 to Madonna make extensive use of pre-recorded music at their concerts. And most Super Bowl renditions of the national anthem, as well as numerous halftime performances, have been lip-synched.
What’s unclear is if Hudson sang along with the backing track, or simply lip-synched. Her breathing patterns, including a couple of audible sighs, indicate that she may have been singing, but it’s difficult to prove.
Minor also told the Associated Press that Faith Hill, who preceded Hudson with a performance of “America the Beautiful,” used a backing track.
Should the NFL have come clean with viewers about whether they were seeing a live performance before the singers put microphones to their lips?