WASHINGTON — Beyonce closed the inauguration with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and did so with a grace that transcended the anthem’s rocky lyrical construction and curious phrasing.
She floated through the song as the cameras panned the crowd — Obama staring into the distance as if he were modeling for Mt. Rushmore, his wife Michelle breaking into a little smile as Beyonce effortlessly hit her notes.
Behind her former President Bill Clinton watched attentively.
When the anthem concluded, Beyonce smiled to the masses, walked past Vice President Joe Biden, who seemed to want to shake her hand.
She missed it, though, as she had her sights on the president.
After greeting him, Beyonce returned to her position with Jay-Z.
The rapper gave the R&B singer a big hug as they stood on the inaugural stage, officially stamped into the American history books.
By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic