This Fourth of July, you can bet you’ll hear plenty of renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner.” in honor of that, we thought we’d pull together five of the best — and five of the worst (let’s be honest, it’s not an easy song to pull off) — to help get you in the Independence Day mood.
First, a little history: The song was not made the official tune of the USA until 1931, after originating as a poem in 1914 by Francis Scott Key.
Now, to the music. In the spirit of saving the best for last, let’s start with some of the, shall we say, cringe-worthy ones.
First, some classics.
7. Carl Lewis:
6. Who can forget the classic Roseanne debacle:
5. This rendition from a brave 11-year-old has more than 1.1 million hits on YouTube (note, she redeems herself in this video):
By the way, before you get too tough on the little girl, watch the video below where she proves she definitely can sing and that the instance above was an outlier:
4. This is what happens when a Canadian signer is tasked with singing the American National Anthem:
3. The faces of this police officer’s comrades as he sings makes it worth the watch:
2. Professional, celebrity singers mess it up too. Steven Tyler seems to ad lib a word in around 0:53):
1. Michael Bolton had to pause and look at his cheat sheet (a.k.a. notes on his hand):
And here are some of the best:
6. 12-year-old Julia Dale has been wowing audiences at Miami Heat games:
5. Sebastien De La Cruz from San Antonio caused caused quite a storm this year after some on Twitter issued racial slurs for his singing of the National Anthem during the NBA championship game. Still, many more agreed his performance was a stunner:
4. Sometimes not straying from the traditional notes, keeping it simple, is best. The then 9-year-old Athena Creese did just that, belting out the song with power:
3. Even though she admitted she lip-synced to a prior recording, Beyonce accompanied by the U.S. Marine Band, which played live, for President Barack Obama’s second term inauguration this year was worth putting on the list:
2. You can’t beat the surprising voice that came out of then 7-year-old Anthony Gargiula:
1. Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem for the Superbowl in 1991 while US soldiers were overseas in the Persian Gulf War (note: Houston starts singing at 1:15). Some call it the best rendition ever:
If you have any favorites, let us know in the comments.
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