Well, “The Star-Spangled Banner” never sounded quite like that before.
When Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Fergie offered up an interesting rendition of the national anthem at Sunday’s NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles, players and fans at the game were not sure what to make of it.
Fergie seemed to be attempting a highly stylized, vampish, bluesy version of the anthem. To say social media did not respond well is a bit of an understatement.
NBA commentator Charles Barkley quipped that he needed a cigarette after the performance.
The national anthem has been through the wringer before. Remember Roseanne Arnold at Wrigley Field? How about when Christina Aguilera flubbed the lyrics before Super Bowl XLV?
Why do popular performers feel the need to put their “creative stamp” on the anthem? It’s weird, and arrogant.
Maybe it is time for everyone to admit that only Jimi Hendrix really ever pulled off a compelling variation of the anthem.
Maybe from now on, we should all agree for the good of the nation, and the nation’s ears, to just play it straight.
As many have noted, that song is difficult enough to sing without trying to complicate or re-arrange it.
Just sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” folks, if you can. Otherwise, don’t try. Think Kate Smith, not lounge singer or Yoko Ono.
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