National Anthem Backlash

Social media is buzzing after Fergie’s cringeworthy performance of the national anthem before Sunday’s NBA All Star game. Many viewers criticized the singer’s sultry rendition of the patriotic ballad, calling it “one of the worst performances ever”, even comparing it to Carl Lewis’s performance in 1983 and Roseanne Barr’s in 1990. While many Americans are quick to judge the pop star, we should instead cut her some slack.

In modern America’s pop culture, radios buzz with the same basic beat and repetitive lyrics- a perfect cocktail for a popular dance anthem. However, it gets tiring turning on the radio in the car and hearing the same pop song that has already circulated seven times in the last hour. After all, many pop hits have a hook that consists of a repetitive shift between the third and fifth notes, referred to as “The Millenial Whoop” by musician Patrick Metzger.

Because chart-topping hits sound oddly similar to other songs from years before, naturally “The Star Spangled Banner” begins to sound dry after decades of hearing it chanted before almost every sports game or national event. As a result, many artists attempt to put their own spin on our nation’s song. Although somewhat laughable, we should appreciate her attempt to provide a fresh, new twist on an original song that should hold so much value in Americans’ hearts.