fergie-national anthem

On a night when the NBA All-Star Game received unusually high marks from viewers, the pregame show certainly did not. The All-Star appetizer was an overproduced mess in all senses, but it truly reached its nadir with Fergie’s performance of the Star-Spangled Banner, which was so bizarre and unusual that NBA players found themselves cracking up mid-song.

On Monday, Fergie acknowledged that her national-anthem rendition was, um, subpar. Here’s what the former Black-Eyed Peas singer told TMZ:

“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”

Fergie seemed to fall into the same trap that has swallowed many failed anthem-singers before her, personalizing the song when all anyone really wants is a quick, respectful rendition that sounds, more or less, like all previous versions.

Here’s Fergie’s already-infamous performance:

Fergie’s anthem generated giggles inside the Staples Center and ridicule on social media. Even NBA players and courtside celebrities failed to keep straight faces through the rendition.

After an entire half of basketball, Fergie’s anthem remained the story of the night heading into the halftime show, where Charles Barkley laughed at the performance and said he needed a cigarette, while Shaq hopelessly attempted to defend Fergie.

So yeah, the whole evening probably didn’t go quite how Fergie planned it. But hopefully everyone watching learned an important lesson: When it comes to performing the national anthem, it’s usually best to just sing the song.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.