According to CNN on Friday, James Taylor was at Fenway Park in Boston to lead the stadium in a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Thursday, but when he opened his mouth to sing, the words of “America the Beautiful” started pouring out.
The Boston-born singer was set to perform two songs at Thursday’s Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park — “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game and “America the Beautiful” during the seventh-inning stretch.
Instead of following the word “oh” — which just happens to start the lyrics of both songs — with “say,” Taylor instead sung the word “beautiful.” That’s when the entire country realized he was singing his seventh inning song just a wee bit early.
Taylor isn’t the only celebrity who has messed up the national anthem at a highly publicized event, and he definitely didn’t give us the worst performance.
Stars who have screwed up the national anthem
In February 2011, Christina Aguilera was put through the wringer when she flubbed the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
In June of 2011 at the U.S. Open women’s semi-finals, Cyndi Lauper was tasked with singing the National Anthem and she didn’t exactly do it justice. Wearing a short Statue of Liberty dress, Lauper started into the song following a moment of silence for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and flubbed the lyrics. Instead of singing, “O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming,” Lauper sang, “O’er the ramparts, we watched as our flag was still streaming.”
In 2009, pop singer Jesse McCartney skipped multiple verses of “The Star Spangled Banner” while performing at a NASCAR event in California.
R. Kelly gve his own R&B rendition of the national anthem, even taking it to the extent of trying to get the audience to clap along.
Roseanne Barr’s 1990 performance at a San Diego Padres game left no note unmolested, no stanza unshrieked, no enemy of America uncomforted. The comedienne even finished it off with a hocked loogie and a groin grab.
Country music star Luke Bryan received widespread criticism after he read the words to the national anthem off his hand while singing at the Major League Baseball All-Star game in 2012. Some offended fans even called him “unpatriotic.”
Steven Tyler caused a stir at the 2012 Super Bowl when he screeched out the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” with ear-splitting high notes.
Twitter users blasted Anita Baker’s singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when she performed at the 2010 NBA Finals after the R&B legend just couldn’t hit the high notes.
Michael Dean, chair of the Department of Music and director of vocal studies at UCLA, has trained various talent on how to sing the national anthem, from opera and pop singers to amateur vocalists.
“[The song] goes from the lowest extreme of the voice to the highest extreme of the voice,” Dean said. “The thing people forget to do is start the piece low enough so that high notes are not too high for them at the end.”
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