If you’ve been on the Internet in the last couple days, chances are you’ve seen at least a clip of Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game. The former Black Eyed Peas singer took a huge risk by changing up the arrangement into a sexy, jazzy number that did not go over well with pretty much anyone.
She received so much backlash, that she issued a formal apology. According to PEOPLE, it read, “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 by no means is a conventional artist, so her statement really made sense but it got us thinking. In her previous national anthem performances, did she go this route? Has she always tried to put an artistic spin on “The Star-Spangled Banner”?
After some research, we did find that Fergie sang the national anthem before an NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins in 2011.
It must have been especially nerve racking because the day before was the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. She stood on a podium surrounded by a marching band that spelled out the letters “USA.”
She performed the song a cappella, as opposed to being accompanied by jazzy drums and bass at the All-Star game, and stayed pretty true to the song’s original arrangement. She did add some of her signature growls in here and there, but it was completely different than the version she chose to perform at the NBA All-Star Game.
There was a moment where her sexy, jazzy voice did come through during the 2011 performance, but she kept in reigned in and delivered a pretty powerful performance.
The only similarities in the performances was that at the end of each, she yelled, “Let’s play some football!” or “Let’s play some basketball!”
Watch the two performances below. Should she have stuck with the version she sang in 2011? Let us know in the comments.