Fergie has responded to the criticism she received for her performance of the U.S. national anthem at this year’s NBA All-Star Game, admitting she “tried her best.”
“I’ve always been honoured 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,” she said in a statement released to TMZ on Monday.
The Black Eyed Peas singer’s slow, bluesy rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday night wasn’t particularly well received at Staples Center or on social media before the 67th edition of the NBA’s annual showcase.
Mariah Carey weighed in, when asked to give her advice on how Fergie should handle all the criticism stemming from the performance. “Dahling, nobody needs to listen to that,” Carey said.
Comedian Leslie Jones wondered, “Why did this happen” adding, “you might as well should’ve asked me to sing.”
Golden State All-Star Draymond Green captured the mood — and became an instant GIF — when he was shown open-mouthed on the scoreboard and the television broadcast in apparent confusion over the unique vocal stylings. Green then chuckled to himself after realizing he was on TV.
Famed basketball commentator Charles Barkley joked that he “needed a cigarette” after Fergie’s performance during the TNT halftime show.
Former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal leaped to Fergie’s defence, saying: “Fergie, I love you. It was different. It was sexy. I liked it. Leave her alone.”
Roseanne Barr, who famously shrieked the U.S. National Anthem in 1990, took to Twitter to say, “Who saw Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey.”
Watch Fergie’s performance in the video above.
—With files from the Associated Press