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Fergie Responds to Backlash Over Her *Unique* Performance of the National Anthem
The singer kicked off the NBA All-Star Game with a highly-criticized new rendition of the classic song.
On February 18, LeBron James scored 29 points at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles, and led his team to victory over "Team Stephen [Curry]." But somehow, Fergie managed to steal the show — and it's debatable whether she can claim a victory of her own. Now, the singer is addressing the controversy surrounding her appearance at the high-stakes game.
But first, let's review: To kick off the high-profile athletic event, which drew audience members such as Jimmy Kimmel and Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas singer donned a black dress and took to the court to sing the National Anthem. When Fergie started to sing the classic song, however, it was clear that this rendition of the all-American tune would be anything but classic.
Fergie put a jazzy, sultry spin on the number that included a little riffing and some light scat singing, and led to some bemused expressions on the faces of those around her. Courtside guests Kimmel and Chance the Rapper appeared to be holding back laughter (but just barely), and some of the athletes even seemed to giggle. Even those watching at home — we're looking at you, Khloe Kardashian! — offered their two cents on the surprising spectacle. Here are some celebrity reactions:
But, it wasn't all bad. After the performance went down, NBA commentator Charles Barkley asked his panel to address the musical elephant in the room. Despite laughs from his fellow panelists, Shaquille O'Neal said: "Fergie, I love you. It was different, it was sexy."
After taking all the, um, feedback in stride, Fergie herself weighed in on the star-spangled scandal. In a statement, the singer said: "I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and ... 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."
Luckily, it looks like Fergie has plenty of support around her. On February 19, ex-husband Josh Duhamel was spotted dropping off pink-and-red roses at the singer's house. Roses from Josh Duhamel sounds like a nice consolation prize to us!