National Anthem Flops

March 2, 2018


Richard Mackson

Not everyone was on board with Fergie’s alternate rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which opened the NBA All-Star game.

The national anthem is a patriotic song that brings American citizens across the country together one glorious lyric at a time. The sacred song is as American as baseball (literally), apple pie, and the Fourth of July.

The national anthem is a difficult song to perform, but one with obvious importance and considerable emotional heft. A great performance can hush a crowd, prompt joyful smiles, command attention, or create a special moment. Typically, those performances are straightforward and direct, but for some reason, far too many celebrities and pop stars feel compelled to give the anthem some distinctive flair.

An artist who decided to spice up the national anthem was none other than Fergie. At the 2018 NBA All-Star Game the artist decided to bring her own personal flair to the historic song, but sadly, her rendition failed to impress. Instead, Fergie received harsh criticism, memes of the performance, and even a few laughs from the NBA players. Senior Vanessa Rodriguez said, “I honestly could not stop laughing throughout her whole performance. I thought I was a bad singer.”

Although Fergie failed to give her best performance, at least she remembered the lyrics of the song. When Christina Aguilera botched the words at the 2011 Super Bowl, viewers screamed for her head. She changed the lyrics early on and just kept on extending every line with vocal runs that felt completely out of place. At least Christina admitted to forgetting the lyrics, unlike singer Michael Bolton. Bolton actually sounded very good during his performance at Red Sox vs. Yankees game in 2003, but what lands it in the bad National Anthem Hall of Fame is the awkward pause he takes to read the lyrics he had written on his hand. If that wasn’t bad enough, after reading from his cheat sheet, he points his head towards the TV to draw more attention to the fact that he forgot the words on live television.

Whether it be a good or bad performance, singing the national anthem is a privilege. An extremely prestigious privilege that sometimes overwhelms performers and causes them to forget lines or simply miss a beat. Sure, these artists might be embarrassed for years but hey, at least they got the chance to perform the national anthem.

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