Fergie was slammed on Twitter for her sultry, jazzy take on The Star-Spangled Banner as she performed the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday (February 18).
The former Black Eyed Peas frontwoman donned a black off the shoulder midi dress for the performance, which saw the famous tune slowed down to allow her to put her own unique spin on it; however, many people weren’t impressed by Fergie’s decision to transform the song so entirely, taking to social media to vent their amusement and frustration.
“Worst rendition ever?” one brutal tweet read, while another added, “Not sure what Fergie was going for on that national anthem performance but if it was ‘my friends drunk mom acting sexy’ she nailed it”.
A third wrote: “Fergie’s national anthem finished 30 minutes ago and I still haven’t recovered. A part of me will never be the same.”
Others suggested the mother-of-one may have been attempting to take inspiration from Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” performance.
“My first guess is that Fergie drew her motivation for her national anthem “rendition” from Marilyn Monroe signing (sic) ‘Happy Birthday, Mister President’,” one wrote, while another added, “I’ve seen the national anthem performed hundreds of times but never in the key of ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ congrats.”
Various celebrities were also quick to share their opinions on Fergie’s performance. Following her rendition, the camera returned to legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, who was acting as one of the commentators for the All-Star Game. When NBA commentator Charles Barkley giggled and asked his fellow panelists if they could talk about the performance, Shaquille replied: “Oh, stop, don’t do that. Leave my Fergie alone. Fergie, I love you. It was different, it was sexy.”
Unconvinced, Barkley replied: “Damn right it was different. I needed a cigarette after that.”
Jimmy Kimmel and Chance the Rapper had been seen in the audience looking somewhat bemused during Fergie’s performance, while singer k.d.lang tweeted afterward: “Would it be so bad if we just dropped the national anthem altogether from sports events. ?”
Comedienne Roseanne Barr added on her Twitter: “Who saw Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey.”
Fergie has yet to publicly respond to the backlash caused by her performance.