First things first: Alicia Keys didn't appear to be lip-syncing.

As opposed to Beyonce's flawless (and, she now admits, pre-recorded) performance of the national anthem at Obama's inauguration last month, Keys' piano-accompanied rendition felt real and raw at the big game this afternoon, with a crack in her voice here or there to assure us she wasn't singing along to a track.

Of course, whether Keys had planned to sing live before the Bey-Bey controversy erupted is a fair question; after all, even Whitney "The Voice" Houston went with a pre-recorded version when she sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 game.

Watch the full performance below and let us know what you think in the comments.

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.