The National Anthem is an important aspect of American culture. Also known as the “Star-Spangled Banner,” it can be heard before sporting events, like the Olympics, or before morning announcements at some grade schools. Further, it is an honor to be asked to sing the National Anthem at a premier sporting event that is broadcast live and globally. Consider the NFL’s Super Bowl, people tune in early before kickoff to listen to a beautiful voice sing America’s beautiful song.
This past weekend, on Sunday, Feb. 18, a premier sporting event was broadcast on TNT: the NBA All-Star Game, which took place in Los Angeles, California, at the Staples Center. Fans worldwide look forward to this yearly game that allows their favorite basketball stars to go head-to-head. This event caps an entire weekend of festivities which include fan favorites such as the dunk contest and the three-point shootout.
Pop sensation Fergie was given the honor of singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Staples Center. Fergie is known for her soulful voice which can be heard in her hit “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” As she approached center court and began to sing the National Anthem, people were no longer gracing her with applause and cheers, but with laughter.
Fergie’s rendition of the National Anthem was not her best. As her voice cracked and her tune changed every few words, the camera panned over players who were struggling not to laugh. The crowd graced her with applause when she finished, but there was obvious discomfort in the audience.
Although Fergie left the court with a smile and friendly waves, several immediately criticized her less than savory performance. The Hollywood Reporter wrote an article titled, “Viewers Slam Fergie’s National Anthem Performance at NBA All-Star Game as Worst Rendition Ever.” Fox News said that “[Fergie] admits that that her performance was kind of a mess.”
Fergie has earned a reputation as a soulful singer, and it’s expected that she will not let this destroy her career. But inside the Staples Center, nobody will ever forget the time Fergie’s rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was a disaster.