When Fergie decided to do an awkward "sexy" version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, the Internet appropriately dragged her. Fortunately for her, she was not the first (and definitely not the last) singer to butcher the national anthem and get ridiculed for it. In fact, it's happened many times throughout the years, and our ears are hurting. Check out the video above to see a compilation of the most ear-bleeding renditions we could find.
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The national anthem isn't an easy song to sing, which is why even great singers like Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera can trip over it. “It has a lot to do with the range,” Kenneth Slowik, the Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, said back in 2014. “It’s a very wide range. Basically, the notes are very high.” His advice for a successful performance is to maybe not do jazzy reinventions of the classic song. “It’s best to be sung the way it was originally intended, that is to be sung as the Anacreontic Song,” he said. “That is to say, a traditional British Gentleman’s Club song—where you can really belt out the top.” In other words, we can't all be Whitney Houston.
Although most singers imagine doing an iconic performance that will be remembered for years, the over-singing and theatrics can sometimes spell doom for decent singers. Kat DeLuna was a rising pop star when she performed the national anthem in 2008. Fans hated her performance so much, she was actually booed afterward. If you watch the full video of her performance you can see that, while her voice isn't that bad, her need for belting and hitting odd notes leaves much to be desired. So remember future "Star-Spangled Banner" singers: do not try to hit notes you can't reach, try to avoid the vocal acrobatics, and definitely do not try to reinvent the wheel. We're sure Fergie wishes she hadn't.