Controversy and Comeback: How Beyonce Flipped Her Image Overnight

HHBO and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network had a very good night of ratings when “Life is But A Dream,” the documentary about Beyonce’s life, aired Feb. 16. According to the New York Daily News, the previously ratings-challenged OWN network benefited from the 1.3 million viewers who tuned in for an exclusive interview between Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey which coincided with the documentary. According to, HBO and OWN are available for subscription with most satellite packages.

“Her spirit is just like ours. My favorite moment is when she says ‘I’m done with trying to be cool, I’m gonna be honest.’ I love that.” said Oprah at the premiere of the HBO premiere of “Life is But A Dream.” The documentary was written, produced and directed by Beyonce, who seems to be sitting on top of the entertainment industry at the moment. But it’s been an interesting 2013 for the Grammy-winning artist, who went from controversy to comeback in just a few short weeks.



The Presidential Inauguration

Beyonce had the honor of opening President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony with the national anthem, which she pulled off with perfection— except that what was thought to be a live performance turned out to be pre-recorded and lip-synched.

It’s not the first time a performer pre-recorded a national anthem. Whitney Houston’s powerful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at the 1991 Super Bowl came at a very patriotic and tense moment in our nation’s history, as the U.S. recently entered the Gulf War. According to ABC News, Rick Minor who was Houston’s musical director confirmed that both the singer’s voice and the music accompanying the national anthem were pre-recorded.

It’s still regarded as one of the best national anthem performances of all time, but the American public doesn’t like to hear that our country’s most treasured tune was forged in a studio. So, flash-forward more than two decades and how did Beyonce respond to the criticism? She stood up and belted the song a cappella, just to prove that she could.

“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,” Beyonce said in an interview with the Daily Herald. The performer continued to explain that pre-recording tracks is a common practice in the industry and that she was proud of her performance.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show

Anyone who doubted Beyonce’s talents from the inauguration were about to be proven wrong just weeks later at the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans. Beyonce was set to star in the halftime show, tossing in a surprise guest appearance from her former teammates of Destiny’s Child.

No pre-recorded tracks, no flamboyant and loud orchestra for backup, no gimmicks, just Beyonce putting her raw talent on display for the world to see. The 31-year-old singer stressed in previous interviews that she would be singing live for the performance, all while dancing at the same time, and she nailed it.

Lesson learned? Don’t bet against Beyonce. Even a lip-synched national anthem can’t keep her down for more than a week at a time. Expect this star to keep rising.

Bebe is a music and film reviewer and a bassist in several bands. She is inspired by her surroundings in New Orleans.