Published On: Jun 14 2013 12:37:08 PM CDTUpdated On: Mar 03 2016 01:00:00 AM CST
With Thursday marking National Anthem Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1931 declaration of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the official U.S. national anthem, take a look at some national anthem renditions that morphed into fiascoes.
Nelly Furtado received harsh criticism for her unconventional rendition of "O Canada" at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. Out of tune and accompanied by a distracting flute, the Canadian native was bashed on social media following the performance at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Motley Crue's Vince Neil was criticized for his own mangled take on the U.S. national anthem before an Arena Football League game in Las Vegas on April 2, 2015.
Aaron Lewis of Staind bungled the second line of the national anthem before Game 5 of the 2014 World Series. He began correctly with "What so proudly we hailed," but instead of finishing with "at the twilight's last gleaming" he sang "were so gallantly streaming." Those words appear later in the song. In an apology posted online, he said, "My nerves got the best of me and I am completely torn up about what happened."
James Taylor got mixed up before Game 2 of the World Series in 2013, when he began singing the words to "America the Beautiful" instead of "The Star-Spangled Banner." But the singer quickly and smoothly recovered, going straight into the correct lyrics. Taylor did have an excuse: he was also performing "America the Beautiful" that same night during the seventh inning stretch.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler tackled "The Star-Spangled Banner" at 2012's AFC Championship game, but not everyone was impressed. Tyler tried to add his trademark scream to jazz it up, but between that and him not saying all the words correctly, many people called it the "worst national anthem performance of all time."
The national anthem performance before Super Bowl XL in Detroit in February 2006 was a prime example of too many cooks in the kitchen. A promising combination of New Orleans musical legends Aaron Neville and Dr. John along with hometown soul legend Aretha Franklin all backed by a gospel choir turned out to be a little too much.
Former Creed singer Scott Stapp has mangled the national anthem on more than one occasion, but perhaps the most memorable came during a 2005 performance before the NASCAR Ford 400. His rendition included botched notes and guttural growls that have no place in "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Going for a soul arrangement of the national anthem turned into a big mistake for R. Kelly when he performed before a Jermain Taylor-Bernard Hopkins boxing match in December 2005. His rendition included unnecessary handclaps and step dancers.
The crowd at Fenway Park for a 2003 ALCS game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees might have been willing to overlook the strange echo after his every line, but when Michael Bolton forgot the lyrics to the national anthem and stole a look at them written on his hand, the boos rained down.
R&B singer Keri Hilson forgot the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" when singing the national anthem before an Atlanta Hawks game versus the Los Angeles Lakers in March 2010.
Singer Alicia Keys was called "disrespectful" for sitting while playing the piano as she performed the national anthem prior to the start of Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013.
Whitney Houston sang the national anthem before Super Bowl XXV on Jan. 27, 1991, in Tampa, Florida, in what some thought was one of the best national anthem performances of all time. However, in the days following Houston's performance, a controversy arose when it was reported that she lip-synched to her own pre-recorded version of the song. In 2012, Houston's musical director, Ricky Minor, admitted she had sung to a taped track, though the vocals were recorded by her.
Jimi Hendrix let loose at Woodstock in 1969 with a rendition of the national anthem on electric guitar that's been called everything from the most important political rock statement of the 1960s, to an afterthought caught in one of Hendrix's worst performances. But there was no question the performance was controversial.
Famous for many controversial moments, Roseanne Barr's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a San Diego Padres baseball game on July 25, 1990, is one of the most notable ever. Barr screeched through the song and added some clichéd baseball humor by spitting and grabbing her crotch. President George H.W. Bush called it "disgusting" and "a disgrace," but Barr defended her performance by writing in her book, "I'm an American, and that is my song, too."
During a 2013 Memorial Cup hockey game in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canadian singer Alexis Normand severely distorted the U.S. national anthem, stumbling through the lyrics and even pausing at times as she seemed to forget full phrases. Fortunately, audience members at the Canadian ice hockey tournament were good sports and helped Normand finish the song.
One of the most talked-about "Star-Spangled Banner" renditions was Beyonce's performance at President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2013, which turned out to be a prerecorded version of the song. Beyoncé explained that a lack of rehearsal opportunity with the military band before the inauguration led her to use a vocal backing track during that ceremony, which some say is somewhat of an industry standard.
Click here to take a look at lip-syncers caught in the act.
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