American singer Fergie broke her silence on Monday, Feb. 19, after her rendition of the national anthem at Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game sparked controversy.
The singer apologized for her performance, adding that she attempting to take a risk and to try something new.
“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 told TMZ.
The performance by Fergie, (her real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson) was a slower more “jazzy” take of the anthem, but it appeared that even the celebrities and athletes at the game couldn’t handle it.
Some people said it was the tempo and awkward delivery of the song that made her performance memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green was among those spotted on camera laughing while the singer completed the anthem.
Other players looked confused at what was happening, such as fellow Warriors star Stephen Curry and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
Social media users called her rendition of the anthem the “worst in history.”
Worst rendition ever?
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) February 19, 2018
I’ve seen the national anthem performed hundreds of times but never in the key of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” congrats @Fergie ??????
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) February 19, 2018
Hoops commentator Charles Barkley later joked on the show TNT that he “needed a cigarette” after hearing Fergie’s singing, FOX8 reported.
In Sunday’s tight match, team LeBron, led by LeBron James, defeated Team Stephen, led by Stephen Curry.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN after the game.
“When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100 percent positive into a potential negative to any player,” Silver said. “But then … maybe we’re overly conservative, because then we came out of there, and the players were, ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year.”