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NEW ORLEANS — Beyoncé answered critics of her Inauguration Day performance the best way she could Thursday: a live performance of the national anthem.

She admitted during her Super Bowl news conference that when she performed for President Obama and the nation, she decided to sing to a prerecorded track because she didn’t have time to practice. Calling herself a “perfectionist,” she said wanted the day to go off without a hitch.

“I practice until my feet bleed and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra,” she said. “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 prerecorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.”

It was the superstar’s first public comments on “Beyoncé-gate.”

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Her rendition of the anthem was critically praised but was scrutinized less than a day later when a representative from the U.S. Marine Band said she was lip-syncing — mouthing the words to a prerecorded track — and the band’s accompanying performance was taped. Shortly after, the group backed off its initial statement and said no one could tell if she was singing live or not.

With the controversy growing each day, the inauguration performance threatened to overshadow her planned Super Bowl halftime show Sunday. So the 31-year-old superstar addressed the issue as soon as she took to the podium Thursday.

She asked everyone to stand, and belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Afterward, she said: “Any questions?”

Naturally, there were.

When asked if she would be singing live at the Super Bowl, she said: “I will absolutely be singing live. This is what I was born to do.”

She would not, however, reveal her set list, saying she was having a hard time trying to “condense a career into 12 minutes.”

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