What better way to honor our great nation’s birthday than by looking back on some truly pathetic, absolutely horrible, completely shocking performances of the Star Spangled Banner? Great question, and one that we will not even attempt to answer. So sit back, scroll down, and be sure to hit play on each of this stupendously terrible videos. (These are not ranked. Each are horrible in their own special kind of way. Just enjoy.)
1. Caroline Marcil—This poor French-Canadian singer got stuck with the job of having to sing the national tune of both Canada and the U.S. at a hockey game between the two countries. After breezing through her home nation’s jingle, Marcil fell completely flat (quite literally) when trying to sing her neighbor-the-the-south’s anthem.
2. Alexis Normand—More recently, another Canuck attempted the same feat but in reverse. Same result sans the tumble to the ice. Normand tweeted her sympathies to America for screwing up, and thanked those in the audience for helping her get through the nightmare.
3. Unnamed Officer from the Hamilton County, Tennessee, Police Department—No words for this one, just completely uncomfortable chuckling the entire way through. It’s the only way you’re going to feel OK about what you’re witnessing.
4. Scott Sapp (the guy from Creed)—Not only
doesdid he sing for a Christian rock band, but he sucks at singing the national anthem. This disgrace took place in 2005 before the running of NASCAR’s Ford 400 in Florida. The final race of the season started off with quite the, um, dud.
5. Carl Lewis—The man certainly owned the world when it came to track and field (he has 10 Olympic medals to prove it), but his talents appear to end as soon as he steps off of said track and field. This quite possibly could go down as the worst attempt ever. Like, ever, ever.
6. Keri Hilson—There’s botching the national anthem, and then there’s completely shredding it to pieces as if it were in a blender turned up to the highest possible speed and letting it go until all you have left is tiny particles. That’s what Miss Hilson did in Atlanta in 2010, but give her credit for the recovery…
7. Zooey Deschanel—Zooey’s got a nice soft, simple, delicate, innocent voice. She really does. But when you’re given the chance to sing your national anthem in front of tens of thousands of people in person, and millions more watching at home , wouldn’t you want to up the ante a little? Zooey, during the 2011 World Series, did not, and she paid for it in the tabloids.
8. Kat DeLuna—I’m not really sure who or what a Kat DeLuna is, but she landed a spot right in the doghouse with this ridiculously ridiculous rendition of the national anthem at Cowboys Stadium in 2008 prior to a Cowboys-Eagles game. Some people like to put their own personal touch on the Star Spangled Banner. DeLuna basically groped the hell out of it to the point where there could’ve been sexual assault charges filed in the matter. She was booed mercilessly.
9. Steven Tyler—Ahh, Steven. You’ve been given so many chances to get this right, but continually refuse to do so. See: 2001 Indy 500; 2012 AFC Championship Game; and the performance below (my personal least-favorite) from the 2004 World Series in his home town of Boston. Rock on.
10. R. Kelly—It’s one thing to be Jimmie Hendrix and perform the national anthem in such a way that you move an entire generation. It’s another to do what R. Kelly did and completely piss all over it (pun most certainly intended).
11. Christina Aguilera—You all know what happened. Xtina botched the lyrics on the biggest stage there is and continues to hear about it to this day.
12. Michael Bolton—This one’s a bit confusing and hard to follow (and again happens in front of the Boston Red Sox home crowd; this time the 2003 ALCS). Is Michael Bolton actually singing? Is someone else singing along with Michael Bolton to help him along? Does Michael Bolton have the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner scribbled out on his hand in case he stumbles (which he does)? Why does Michael Bolton exit stage left SO FAST?!?!
13. Roseanne Barr—The grandmama of them all. It was July 25, 1990 when the San Diego Padres allowed comedian-actress Roseanne Barr to grace the field and belch out one of the most memorable performances in the history of memorable performances. The Padres immediately apologized for the spectacle Barr created, and Roseanne, well, she continued being Roseanne.
Happy birthday, America!