Let me start this by saying up front that if for some horrific reason I was called upon to sing the national anthem in front of anyone other than my cat, I would instantly throw myself into heavy traffic. Instantly. Because I would rather convalesce in full-body orthopedic traction than make a public attempt at "The Star-Spangled Banner." It's a really, REALLY hard to song to sing, even if you can sing, which I cannot.
In other words, I'm impressed with celebrities who give it a shot, particularly since the stakes are so high. Screw it up, and you forever reside in a star-spangled hall of shame, even if you only screw it up a little. Which is what legendary singer James Taylor did at at game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night: he briefly confused the national anthem with "America the Beautiful." Not a huge deal, but of course a few people were watching, so … whoops.
The good news is it could have been worse. Much, MUCH worse.
Let's start with James Taylor. Like I said, it's really not that bad -- he just got his songs confused for a moment, which is maybe understandable since he later performed "America the Beautiful" during the seventh inning stretch.
This list wouldn't be complete without Christina Aguilera, who mostly did okay during her 2011 pre-Super Bowl performance except for skipping a line and adding a new lyric: "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming." When disproportiate public ooutrage reached a fever pitch, she issued the following statement:
I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.
More deserving of legitimate criticism was Roseanne Barr, whose obnoxious 1990 performance at a San Diego Padres game destroyed eardrums, flayed nerves, and made the baby Jesus cry.
Who's Kat DeLuna, you ask? The onetime "pop sensation" might be more famous today if she hadn't added so much unecessary flair to an already flamboyant song in 2008. I recommend skipping directly to 1:50 to experience her "land of the FreEeeeEEEeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
In 2003 Michael Bolton had to look at a CHEAT SHEET after he blanked out what comes after "O'er the ramparts we watched." That line gets 'em every time.
If you thought Roseanne was bad, well, Carl Lewis was worse. Because unlike Roseanne, I don't think he was deliberately trying to sound this bad in 1993. I love how he stops midway through and promises he'll "make it up" to the crowd, only to ravage the final notes.
I feel kind of guilty including Hillary Clinton's rendition, because it wasn't intended for public consumption. What happened was, during a 2008 presidential campaign stop, her microphone inadvertently picked up her singing. It's ... well, gosh, it's just kind of adorable. I'm pretty sure this is what we ALL sound like when we make a stab at the anthem.
Do you feel bad for celebrities who mess up the national anthem?
Image via YouTube