In case you were wondering whether Beyonce can sing the national anthem, the answer is a defiant yes.
The singer took the stage at a Super Bowl news conference on Thursday in New Orleans and asked those in attendance to please rise. With a giant flag waving on a video screen behind her, Beyonce launched into an impassioned a capella version of "The Star Spangled Banner." When she finished, she asked simply, "Any questions?"
It was a dramatic end to 10 days of silence from the Grammy winner over whether she lip-synched the song at President Barack Obama's second presidential inauguration.
With the matter of whether she can sing the anthem settled, there was still one lingering question: Just what happened on the Capitol steps in Washington?
"I did not have time to rehearse, it was a live television show, it was very important and emotional for me, one of my proudest moments," Beyonce said. "Due to weather, due to delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable risking it.
"This was about the president and I wanted to make him and my country proud. I sang along with my prerecorded track -- very common in the music industry. I'm very proud of my performance."
Beyonce said she will, however, "absolutely be singing live" during Sunday's halftime show. "This is what I was born to do."
She also clarified the difference between the pressure of singing at the inauguration and singing this weekend.
"This weekend I'm performing at the halftime show and I feel like before (at the inauguration) the event was not about me. I'm excited to have done both but now I'm on to the halftime show. I always sing live. The inauguration was unfortunately a time I could not rehearse -- it was always the plan (to sing to backing track)."
Beyonce covered more ground than just the lip-synch scandal. Would the halftime show feature a Destiny's Child reunion? She didn't confirm, but definitely stopped short of an outright denial.
And what about touring again? "Soon," she said. "And I may have an announcement after the performance and the fans should stay tuned to see."
Regardless of the scandal that has up until this point overshadowed her Super Bowl plans, Beyonce made one thing clear: her performance Sunday will be a very meaningful one. Being a part of the halftime show "has been an aspiration for me," she said. "You work very hard for these moments and I'm just hoping that all of my life lessons and experience I can feel and use during this performance."
Also at Thursday's news conference, the NFL announced that Jennifer Hudson and Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus from Newtown, Conn., would sing "America the Beautiful" before Sunday's game. And Alicia Keys is slated to sing the national anthem.