[There was a video here]
The initial moments of Beyoncé's inauguration performance were fraught with confusion, after she opened her mouth to sing the national anthem and everyone realized that God had replaced the artist formerly known as Beyoncé with an actual living angel whose voice was more heavenly than a thousand Hallelujah choruses.
Bey kept things pretty traditional for the first half of the song, delivering the word "proudly" (what so proudly we hailed) as "proudly," rather than the more modern "PUH-ROWWWWDLY," and taking care to accurately pronounce the Jabberwocky-esque gibberish lines (O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming) that no one ever gets exactly right. (She studied the words beforehand, duh.)
Then all of a sudden, in the middle of the song, something crazy happened: Beyoncé went rogue.
If you take a look above right around the 1:45 mark, you'll notice that Beyoncé casually removes her earpiece, mid-line, without missing a beat. It was later reported that she was plagued by audio problems throughout the song.
At this point in the performance, Beyoncé is, as they say, "singing blind." She no longer has any way to tell if she is singing on key, except for the fact that she is Beyoncé and "off-key" is the one note that exists beyond her range.
She proceeds to fucking crush this anthem. Doin' vocal loopty loops over "proof" (gave prooOooOf through the night ); riding the waAaaAAAave of "wave" (O say does that star spangled banner yet...). Everything sounds impeccable.
She wraps up with some dynamite eye-contact with the camera and big broadway gestures for the folks there in person.
The camera picks up Joe Biden smiling a big open-mouthed smile.
The U.S. Marine Band closes us out.
And Beyoncé is now the President.