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As Americans, singing the national anthem should be second nature, especially for celebrities who are expected to perform it. However, nerves or lack of preparation — or something else — can result in a much different outcome. Below are 10 celebrities who totally messed up their performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
On March 31, 2010, singer, songwriter and actress Hilson sang the national anthem at a Lakers vs. Hawks game. Despite her practice, Hilson started to sing, “What so proudly we hail’d,” for the second time, but then quickly fixed her mistake and switched to the original lyrics “O’er the ramparts we watch’d.”
At the Pepsi 500 in 2009, McCartney sang the national anthem — well, part of it. The “Beautiful Soul” singer was so nervous that he completely skipped the line, “What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming” and continued with the song.
Bolton was asked to sing the national anthem at Game 4 of the 2003 ALCS. However, for him, practice did not make perfect. After getting through the first couple of lines, which are usually the ones that get forgotten or switched, Bolton took a quick breather, in the middle of the lyrics, and not so nonchalantly looked at his cheat sheet, which he’d written on his hand.
The five-time Grammy winner got off to a bumpy start when he sang the anthem at Game 2 of the 2013 World Series. Not quiet sure how it happened, but Taylor started off singing “America the Beautiful” but then switched songs after a few words and finished strong.
The singer-songwriter was asked to sing at Super Bowl XLV; however her amazing voice could not get her out of this mess. After singing the lyrics, “Through the perilous fight,” she back tracked and sang the verse, “What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming” a second time.
Canadian jazz singer Normand epically failed at singing the national anthem at a Memorial Cup hockey game. While most people forget a word or two or even rearrange the lyrics, Normand’s mind went so blank that she resorted to humming the tune until the crowd helped her out.
During a Padres game in 1990, comedian Roseanne Barr sang — well, fast-talked/screamed — the national anthem. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barr started laughing in the middle, and to finish it off, she spit on the ground right before walking off the field.
During a 1993 game at the Brendan Byrne Arena, Olympian Carl Lewis murdered the national anthem. While the song is short, Lewis made it seem like it went on for a lifetime. He is pretty on tune for an Olympian until he gets to — well, screeches to — “and the rockets’ red glare” and then laughing at himself and telling the audience “Uh oh, I’ll make up for it now” but he definitely didn’t make up for it.
Eighteen-year-old American Idol winner, Scotty McCreery had a little trouble with the national anthem at a 2011 World Series game. The performance started out rough when his microphone malfunctioned, causing him to restart the song. Then, McCreery sang the wrong lyrics. Although subtle, you can definitely hear that he sings, “No Jose does that star-spangled banner yet wave” instead of, “Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave.”
During the U.S. Open’s 9/11 memorial, Cyndi Lauper sang the national anthem, or her version of it. Although she got past the part everyone messes up on, she completely botched the song by singing, “O’er the ramparts we watched, was the flag was still streaming (or gleaming)” and then singing under her breath making it very difficult to understand.
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