This isn’t the first time she’s riled up the public with a new take on the song.
Fergie performs at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.
By now, singer Fergie’s strange National Anthem performance at the NBA All-Star game has transcended the world of sports and gone viral. With so many people wondering simply “Why?” in the days following the performance, the singer has broken her silence to offer something between an apology, an explanation, and an acknowledgment.
For those who haven’t had the, uh, “pleasure” of witnessing her rendition of the song, it’s worth checking out, as you’ll likely never see anything like it again:
Speaking to TMZ, the former member of The Black Eyed Peas shed some light on her inspiration for the breathy, oddly arhythmic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” explaining:
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 faced similar, though less widespread, criticism following an earlier performance of the song at a 2011 NFL game between the Dolphins and Patriots, which, while done in a different style, still generated some backlash:
Despite all the criticism she’s received, it’s still pretty cool to see an artist like Fergie out there who’s not afraid to take risks.