Beyonce gives an unexpected performance of the National Anthem at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Press Conference in New Orleans Thursday. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Beyonce broke her silence Thursday on the National Anthem lip-sync controversy that has dogged her since the inauguration — and she broke it in style.

At a press conference in New Orleans to preview her Super Bowl halftime show, the superstar began with an unusual request of reporters: “Would you guys mind standing?”

And then she sang the National Anthem — live, unaccompanied, and loud.

“Any questions?” she asked.

View Photo Gallery: The Grammy-winning diva will take the stage at the halftime show in New Orleans. Here’s a look at some of her past performances, including her controversial rendition of the national anthem.

Her concert over and her point made, Beyonce offered a nuanced and vaguely apologetic account of what happened at the U.S. Capitol last week: She did rely on a pre-recorded vocal track, but she also sang along with it.

“I am a perfectionist,” she explained. Afraid that she was unprepared for the inauguration performance — having missed a rehearsal with the Marine Band because she was preparing the Super Bowl — she went with the recording, she said.

She maintained that she will sing live at the Super Bowl, but not because of the inauguration backlash: “I always sing live.”

Except, obviously, for last week in Washington. But in that case, she said, “the event wasn’t about me” in the way her halftime show will be..

“I will absolutely be singing live,” she said. “This is what I was born for. This is what I was born to do.”

Beyonce’s powerful rendition of the anthem drew immediate raves when she sang at the Capitol, but controversy heated up the next morning when a Marine Band rep told reporters the singer had opted to use a recording. Later, the group backed away from the lip-sync story, noting that while they used a tape, they couldn’t tell whether she sang over it or not.

In subsequent days, several other singers weighed in to defend lip-syncing as a routine fallback, especially in outdoor settings — but Beyonce herself remained silent.

Why not speak out sooner? “I’m happy that I could tell my story on my terms,” she said.

See more quotes from Beyonce’s press conference at the Early Lead: Beyonce admits she lip-synced at inauguration, will sing live at Super Bowl XLVII

Earlier: Beyonce lip-sync controversy evolves: Did she sing live? The stories change, 1/22/14

Everyone weighs in on Beyonce lip-sync controversy — except for Beyonce, 1/24/13

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