Basically, ya’ll need to shut up now.
At the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show press conference Thursday (January 31), Beyoncé silenced critics by singing an a cappella version of the national anthem that was as powerful and acrobatic as the backing track she was lambasted for using during President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony on January 21. Last week, that performance kick-started an eye-rolling faux-controversy that led to a deluge of will-she-or-won’t-she headlines about whether she’ll lip-sync again as the Super Bowl halftime performer on Sunday (February 3). (Frankly, we’re more concerned with which A-list buddies will join her onstage: her Destiny’s Child co-members? Husband Jay-Z?! Stevie Nicks?!? Justin Timberlake!?!?!)
The singer, who explained she sang along with the backing track at the inauguration because she is a “perfectionist,” assured reporters that she plans to sing live on game day. “I am well rehearsed. This is what I was born to do,” she said.
She further explained her decision to lip-sync for Obama: “Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.”
The singer said she normally practices till her “feet bleed,” and in a behind-the-scenes video posted to YouTube Wednesday night, we get a glimpse of her rigorous Super Bowl halftime show rehearsals. Given all the shaking going on in that clip, Beyoncé would be forgiven for using a backing track for portions of her set. She wouldn’t be the first, or the last, pop star to do so.
The Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers when Super Bowl XLVII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 3.
Watch footage of Beyoncé’s flawless, live “Star-Spangled Banner” below.