Fergie's sexy national anthem performance slammed on social media

Fergie belts out the national anthem before the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

While the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events has been mired in controversy over the past year, the uproar over the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game Sunday night had nothing to do with political statements or bended knees.

Viewers were perplexed by singer Fergie‘s throaty, bluesy delivery of the Francis Scott Key song as she took the court at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Black Eyed Peas star sang in a slow, sultry manner, drawing meme-worthy reactions from the basketball players in attendance and vicious reviews on Twitter.

Though many, including NBA commentator and former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal, defended the performance, the Twittersphere didn’t hold back from giving its harshest Simon Cowell-style critiques.

Even celebrities piled on, with Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones tweeting that NBA officials might as well have asked her to sing. Former national anthem pariah Roseanne Barr, who caused outrage with her own off-key, crotch-grabbing rendition at a 1990 San Diego Padres game, quipped that she had done a better job.

Marvin Gaye also went the unconventional route with a sexy, soulful take on the national anthem at the 1983 All-Star game. His interpretation is now considered a classic, so you can’t blame Fergie for trying something new. Let he who can hit every high note cast the first stone.

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