February 19, 2018

"Fergie has officially stolen the title of the most controversial national anthem performance from sitcom queen Roseanne Barr."

Fox News Reports.

Roseanne's tweet: "Who saw Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey." As she explained in 2015:
“I started too high. I knew about six notes in that I couldn’t hit the big note," she admitted. "So I just tried to get through it, but I couldn’t hear anything with 50,000 drunk a--- booing, screaming ‘you fat f---,’ giving me the finger and throwing bottles at me during the song they ‘respect’ so much.”
At TMZ, Fergie explains:
"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."
ADDED: Fox News links often don't work. Here are the 2 videos:



77 comments:

rhhardin said...

The clip I heard was singing not matching background music; I took it that she didn't hear the accompaniament. The singing if you ignored the background sounded okay, albeit with the useless flourishes that people shove into that awful melody all over.

Taylor said...

I got Access Denied.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

She tried her best. So there. At least the NBA players show respect for the attempt. I like that.

Darrell said...

At least Fergie didn't let out a stream of pee. As she is known to do.

Bill said...

I feel bad for her. She's genuinely talented and I hear she's a nice person. But I hope she never goes near the N.A. again.

Ann Althouse said...

"I got Access Denied."

That happens some of the time with Fox News... even I'm getting that now and I used good code.

I'm going to stop linking to them....

I'll embed the video. Hang on a minute...

Comanche Voter said...

One thing about our national anthem. It has survived musical assault after assault. It is true that it is difficult to sing. A lot of people have tried--and failed.

Few however have grabbed their crotch when they failed. Hats off to Roseanne (snark).

Luke Lea said...

Actually I thought her version was better, or at least more interesting, than a lot of others I've heard by big name recording artists who quaver it to death.

Rosalyn C. said...

Fergie was lol, Roseanne was LOL.

Lance said...

I don’t like the Fergie rendition, but I didn’t think it was disrespectful. Barr’s rendition came across as true mockery.

langford peel said...

One of the most interesting versions I ever saw was also at an NBA All Star game. It was Marvin Gaye at the 1983 All Star game.

You would think the NBA would have the same problem with the Anthem as the NFL. You have a bunch of morons who hate Trump. Lebron. Steve Kerr. Popovich.

But the NBA enforces the rule that everyone has to stand respectfully during the anthem or they get fined or suspended. They went through this bullshit in 1996 when Chris Jackson insulted the Anthem because he had become a Muslim and we all know that Muslims hate America.

The NBA was not gonna put up with that crap because they have always been run by smart Jews who would never let them fuck around with the money. They nipped that in the bud and to this day the natives can get as restless as they want but they can't disrespect the flag.

Bay Area Guy said...

Don't forget Carl Lewis - he botched one too!

langford peel said...

Roseanne grabbed her crotch for two reasons.

First she was imitating baseball players who like to rearrange their junk when they are at the plate.

Second she is clairvoyant. She was a big star at the time and she was the herald of the God Emperor who has said that if you get big enough you can just grab them by the pussy.

She just did it to herself.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Fergie, I don't think you're supposed to love your country carnally.

Humperdink said...

As I recall, Barr's rendition included grabbing her you-know-what and then spitting simulated tobacco. You could only get a mere glimpse of the grab on your version. Neither version exhibited class, but Barr's was terrible.

Michael K said...

I still like this one.

langford peel said...

Roseanne did it as a favor to the owner of the Padres who was the show runner on her original show. It was a mmisguided attempt at humor.

She is bringing her show back to continue the trend of old favorites being revisited in the present day like "Full House" and "The Karate Kid."

In her new show she and her husband are Trump fans because they get their factory jobs back because of what Trump. They will be celebrate their $1000 bonus and they sure won't be calling it crumbs. She had a working class sensibility that the best Sitcoms had which originated with "The Honeymooners" through "All in the Family" and "Good Times." Sitcoms used to be about the struggles of families and not a bunch of douchebags sitting around a coffee shop.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Surely you're capable of blogging about more interesting things than this.

Up your game.

langford peel said...

You a former law professor!

fivewheels said...

"Jose Feliciano, you got no complaints."

Rob said...

Fergie doing The Star Spangled Banner as a torch song reminds me of Mel Brooks' impression of Frank Sinatra singing America.

Darrell said...

Hallelujah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msYPbjFC50w

Andrew said...

The best comic version was Leslie Nielsen's.
https://youtu.be/sxHnXajIex4

Breezy said...

Thank you to each for the linked videos. Powerful juxtapositions.

Rosie’s is still the worst due to its mockery and disrespect. She should never get to live that down.

Leeatmg said...

I'm apparently the only person on earth who actually liked it quite a bit. And I genuinely dislike both Fergie and a lot of jazz music. After all the hype, I expected much, much worse.

Cato said...

This is all you need to see, if you respect this country:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjtm8-MubPZAhWrmuAKHQuQB8MQ3ywILTAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DN1h4zfO8Ais&usg=AOvVaw0gNmD7xjb8K_UEC7Fzvr4R

Paul said...

We need a new law. For public performances of the National Anthem a proof recording by the singer should be first given to judges to make sure they can SING THE SONG CORRECTLY.

These two should never have been allowed to sing it.

Amexpat said...

Hendrix's version is the best.

Howard said...

Fergie did OK. The PA announcer sounded pretty lame, though.
I've heard Ted Nugent play this version at a hunters convention. He credits Jimmi
Nugent Doing Hendrix SSB @ Trump Rally

The real deal is better. Maybe because Hendrix was an actual vet, not a chickenhawk like Nugent and Teh Dronald.
Hendrix SSB @ Woodstock

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Rob-
Rick Moranis doing Mel Torme:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye7s4ybA7h4

JaimeRoberto said...

Is she auditioning for the remake of The Fabulous Baker Boys?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The CNN Clinton Lost ButtHurt Party never ends.

Paddy O said...

There's an official ranking of these things? Is this a federal status or something some kind of academy votes on? But if she stole it, I'm thinking it might be some kind of ceremonial sash.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

I saw the various responses on the Internet, but only just now bothered to watch it.

Not quite my cup of tea, but not Two Girls and a Cup, either.

As an aside: if you do not know about Two Girls and a Cup then you are woefully undereducated in the gristle of the internet.

Regarding Fergie: I appreciated the concept of a different approach, rather than the vocal look-at-me gymnastics so generally employed in other 'star' renditions.

The 'torch song' aspect may seem odd, but it at least had a sense of a person trying to inhabit the song, rather than going through the motions like a skilled typist showing off while typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".

Her dress -- hemline actually below the knees -- and hair seemed to balance sexy and tasteful in a way that at leasts simulates elegance in today's Kardashian Yoga Pants Young Hooker pop-world.

That a bitchy over-the-hill progressive like k.d. lang used the performance to snark at another (younger) woman's performance tips my scale towards Fergie even more so.

k.d. lang: remember this Vanity Fair cover? Remember when you were young-ish and trying to be edgy?

You used Cindy Crawford's sex appeal to enhance your own image and popularity, while simultaneously trying to appear ironically above such callow things. As such, I respect Fergie more: there was no irony, and no looking down at her audience.

While watching this, my mind make a connection of her performance and Marilyn Monroe's singing of 'Happy Birthday' to JFK. I think that might even have been intentional.

Fergie took a risk. That is pretty American, after all.

The Germans have a word for this.

Henry said...

Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!

pacwest said...

Not my cup of tea, but if there is no experimentation you don't get Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful. I don't think I ever saw him do the National Anthem. That could have been good.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rae said...

I'll say this - Fergie did better than I would have.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

Another thought.

If Beyonce had delivered this same performance -- same arrangement, same vocal styling, same manner of dress -- would the response be the same?

How about Rihanna? Still controversial-bad, not controversial-good?

Or would they be received rapturously as risk-taking and bold and those who responded negatively were obviously being racist?

As an old movie's title says: The Singer Not the Song.

Some singers can employ more diversity than others.

The Germans have a word for this.

William said...

I don't hink the National Anthem works as a torch song, but it was worth a shot. Was she wearing the slinky black dress to be sexy or to protest against sexual harassment in the recording industry and/or the NBA? It's hard to differentiate among the black dresses and the various sexual harassers. ......I understand that the NA is based on an 18th century drinking song. The 18th century drunks had better singing voices than our current professionals. That's how far America has fallen.

mockturtle said...

I got Access Denied.

Consider yourself lucky.

Wince said...

Fergie didn't decide her fanciful version of the National Anthem was right for the NBA AS-Game. She owes no one an apology.

Fergie was unforgettable in a movie scene that has only gotten more intriguing over time, worth the 90 seconds.

THE BONE SHACK

JT: Saving lives? Are you?

Fergie: How did you know that?

JT: Now that's a rump roast.


Notice how Rose McGowan walks-by.

Fergie: You oaky?

McGowan: I'm just cherry.


Produced by Harvey Weinstein.

D 2 said...

"Germans have a word" and pacwest say it succinctly. She took a risk. Thats a different line than Roseannes.

"Germans" second thought - "singer not the song" makes you wonder whether humans are hardwired to pay some people $$$ for some arena show when a better performance can be found at the local club for $. And thats just the way it is.The entertainment world is no place to look for rationality.

David said...

Roseanne did a deliberate parody. Fergie at least tried.

I forgive them both.

Tom said...

Well, it is an impossibly hard song to sing.

traditionalguy said...

The National Anthem is a war ballad about courageous Americans beating the British Empire by holding onto a Fort under intense bombardment in order to guard Philadelphia from a massive amphibious invasion,looting and burning. That had already been done by the same murderous British to the Capital in DC, they planned after Philadelphia to do the same to New Orleans.

No wonder the New World Order wants the warrior Americans to surrender their guns.

Clyde said...

Cringeworthy. Lesson for all: The national anthem is not about YOU; it's about US. Sing the song straight, as written. Don't try to tart it up.

dgstock said...

For a celebrity anthem, it's hard to beat the Dead

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MH8ObibNCoo

Howard said...

trad-guy: Baltimore. Ft McHenry. Didn't you learn that in boot camp or are you an un-American Russian troll sowing discord?

Bilwick said...

Asked for comment on both controversial interpretations of the national anthem, former president Bill Clinton gave his signature smirk and said, "Y'all know that they can't sing at all when their mouths are full, right?"

Nah. I made that up. But it is notionally accurate.

Martin said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...
The National Anthem is a war ballad about courageous Americans beating the British Empire by holding onto a Fort under intense bombardment in order to guard Philadelphia from a massive amphibious invasion,looting and burning. That had already been done by the same murderous British to the Capital in DC, they planned after Philadelphia to do the same to New Orleans.
**********
Yes, the words. But the melody was an English drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven."
https://parodyproject.com/anacreon-star-spangled-banner/

Fergie's interpretation was true to neither the lyrics nor the melody. I suppose it "spoke" to her, but she was substituting herself for 200 years of tradition.

Freeman Hunt said...

The surprising thing would be to find a performance of the anthem done well.

reader said...

For me torch song just doesn't seem to fit the mood of the Star Spangled Banner.

I like Madison Rising's take on the National Anthem, though it too has been considered disrespectful by some. I like it so much that I've had it on my walking playlist for a few years and if it comes on in my car I end up pounding on my steering wheel.

Madison Rising - The Star Spangled Banner

Yancey Ward said...

Philadelphia is known as the Baltimore of the North.

gadfly said...

And I care because . . . ? Don't watch Roseanne, never heard of a Fergie except the one who married Prince Andrew maybe - and I don't think that is her real name.

BudBrown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

"The surprising thing would be to find a performance of the anthem done well."

Well there is one guy does the best performance I've witnessed, ever, And that is Jeff Jimerson. He does the Anthem prior to most Pittsburgh Penguin games. The man is a legend. The Penguin management has others do it occasionally, but when his name is announced, the crowd goes wild.

Peter said...

From my admiring perch here up North, there are two things I often wonder whether Americans realize are very unusual. The first is the constant references in your politics and law to the intent of the Founding Fathers. Sometimes I imagine every American carries around a well-thumbed copy of the Declaration of Independence he or she consults twenty times a day before voting or ordering a meal or whatever. Most of the rest of the world would be hard-pressed to name their founders, let alone know what they thought or said.

The second is seeing your national anthem as a vehicle for artistic license to protest, build a career, innovate musically, shock, wear patriotism on your sleeves, self-indulge, etc. In the rest of the world, we just all stand up, listen or sing, sit down and then get on with it. Any controversies are likely to be whether the anthem was played too fast or too slow.

My theory is that there is something in every American of whatever color, creed or faith that just can't stop fighting the Revolution.

Humperdink said...

Peter: "My theory is that there is something in every American of whatever color, creed or faith that just can't stop fighting the Revolution."

I think you're spot-on here Peter. Our country is still young in relative terms and most of us, current generation excepted, were taught actual history in schools. We were taught about the lack of freedom under the boot of the king and what the Founders risked to liberate the colonies. Some of us see those freedoms being eroded at a rapid rate.

rhhardin said...

Maureen Dowd will be intervewed on Imus probably at 7:40-7:50am EST. She has a history of being good, not like the tone of her columns at all.

http://player.streamtheworld.com/liveplayer.php?callsign=WABCAM

But it's been 15 years.

(possible 6:40 or 8:40 but most probably 7:40)

Humperdink said...

BTW Peter, I am former season ticket holder for the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Whenever a Canadian team would visit, your National Anthem would also be played prior to the game. It is one beautiful song. On the downside, I see that it was just altered to reflect the times we live in.

Peter said...

Humperdink, it's nice when played or sung at a brisk military clip, but a painful dirge when sung slowly. But for anthem fans, nothing can hold a candle to this one. May Fergie never be allowed near it.

Yes, the wording was changed slightly ("sons" made gender neutral)against a strong majority of public opinion. The forces of identity politics are alive and well up here too. The irony is that the French version, which is full of 19th century ultramontane Catholic references that Quebecers left behind several generations ago remains untouched and uncontroversial. Identity politics are an Anglo-American specialty.

Roy Lofquist said...

The very best of all time. If anybody says no I'll go away and never darken these doors again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETrr-XHBjE

FIDO said...

There seems to be this rule: when one does the Star Spangled Banner, it tends to mark the downward slide of the career. Rosanne had reached the top of her game...but then started sliding downhill with her Arnold marriage in the public eye and an FU attitude toward her fans which SHE thought was ironic (ala the NA) but the fans just saw as a middle finger.

Fergie was a big hot C lister...15 years ago. Eyecandy who could hold a tune. She was notable with the Black Eyed Peas, when anyone who could hold a microphone could be a rapper and a white woman surrounded by black men could still be considered edgy.

Now we call that the Kardashians.

She's passing 42 and her last gig was a celebrity mentor on Fashion Police. So, using the same mentality that Marilyn Monroe used, drunk, high, and addicted to banging the president, she decided to sing the NA as a torch song to gin up some poorly considered publicity.

She's still decent looking for a woman her age, but again, she isn't exactly very accomplished and remains on the C list. So I watched 15 seconds of the video.

Meh.

Humperdink said...

@Peter. I recognized it after two notes. "One ping only Vasili."

FIDO said...

Peter,


You had no choice in the matter of your founders. You guys were peasants who were slowly and irregularly given more rights though no fault of your own, mostly as sops thrown at you Barons and the actions of drunken college Antifa, who wouldn't have been permitted in a high end club.

Our intelligentsia actually a) lead us b) won and c) explained slowly and carefully WHY they did what they did and why it was important.

And before the Marxists you guys love SO DAMN MUCH came over and took over education, we used to teach our kids WHY these things were important.

Dan from Madison said...

It sucked, but I don't see why the tempest in the teapot over it. I have been to plenty of sporting (and other) events over the years and probably have heard the Anthem sung/played several thousand times. I have heard worse. Rosanne tried to butcher it, Fergie just thought her take was different (and good). She was wrong. Moving on.

Peter said...

@Humperdink:

Your hockey background may have made you familiar with this local cop from Ottawa who combined the best solo performances of both anthems in one night. Frankly, I believe women are the equal of men in all endeavours except playing on NFL defensive lines and singing national anthems.

@FIDO:

I'd love to respond, but no time. Today's the day my beautiful young daughter and I have to deliver the best of our crop to the local baron or we're kicked off the farm.

Danno said...

Who is Fergie? (I know I could google it, but that would waste precious reading time on this blog.)

Robert Cook said...

Really...who gives a fig?

Humperdink said...

@Peter Yep, quite familiar with him.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The POINT of the National Anthem being sung at events is that it is a song that represents the history and birth of America. It is supposed supposed to be a unifying event and one where everyone can join in and sing along.

It isn't supposed to be a platform for some diva to show off his/her acrobatic trills and in essence mutilate the (already hard enough)song to the point that NO one can possibly follow along.

The 'theme song' for Liverpool soccer is You'll never walk alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers. Nothing quite as inspirational and unifying as a stadium full of tens of thousands of fans from two different countries singing in unison. Australia and Liverpool Soccer Match. To be fair. Many Australians have relatives that came from Liverpool...some perhaps involuntarily. Yet, you can feel the solidarity of singing a comunal and inspirational song.

You can't do that with some self absorbed inflated ego diva screwing it up. Just sing the damned song with the purpose in mind.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Here is another instance of multi national solidarity. Canadian hockey fans help finish the American National Anthem when the mic goes out. What a feel good moment of friendship between opposing sports team fans.

Can we finish the Canadian National Anthem if we had to. I know I couldn't.

Maybe Fergie had good intentions. However, the song is NOT about you Fergie. It is about US.

dbp said...

David Burge put Fergie's performance best:

"I'm reminded of a McMansion cougar mom who shows up at the PTA meeting after two bottles of chardonnay"

FIDO said...

I reiterate. Oliver Cromwell is about the closest that you had to a founding father and you let the King dig up his corpse and put his head on a spike for 20 odd years

We did not do the same for Washington, Jefferson, Adams etc.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

A memo to Fergie: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Try something novel in rehearsal to see if it will actually work. If it fails, you can try something different and you haven't embarrassed yourself in front of millions.

Roseanne Barr's is still the worst. She screeches and doesn't sing. Fergie sang, though the arrangement sucked. Thanks for playing, kid.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Not as bad as I expected, having seen tweets and comments galore.