Jewel’s ‘disrespectful’ national anthem joins Roseanne Barr, Jimmy Buffett accused of ‘butchering’ song

By most standards, the national anthem is not an easy song to sing. And some singers seem to struggle with it more than others.

When it comes to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the moving song written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 that became America’s official anthem in 1931, most people want to hear a traditional performance. It’s not seen as a number open to interpretation.

However, Jewel added her own spin when she performed over the weekend at the Indianapolis 500.

The folk-pop singer, known for hits like “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games,” is undeniably talented, but when she sang the anthem, she made it sound more like her own song. She accompanied herself on an acoustic guitar, and it sounded very much like something that could be on one of her albums.

After the performance, viewers reacted strongly on social media, with one person writing, “Jewel, quit butchering an iconic song trying to make it your own interpretation.”

Another person claimed the rendition was “to the point of being disrespectful,” and yet another called it “ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL!”

Others were more constructive with their feedback, like the person who told her, “You have a beautiful voice, and it was beautifully sung. But the original sound and rhythm of the anthem has a very special place and meaning in our country, especially to many of those older than you. That’s why there is so much criticism. Best to you!”

Some were clear but not cruel, like the person who wrote, “No. Never change the natural rhythm and pace of the National Anthem. Bad idea.”

While many Indy 500 viewers were displeased by Jewel’s performance, she’s hardly the first artist to receive this kind of criticism.

Jimmy Buffett at the 2018 NFC championship game

Jimmy Buffett has been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints for years. In 2018, he was invited to sing the national anthem for the Saints at the NFC championship game.

The performance did not go well.

Buffett sang the song a cappella, and he sang it at a noticeably fast, almost breathless pace. He’s admittedly not an incredibly gifted singer. Instead, his talents lie more in storytelling through music. So, he may not have had the vocal talent to help with the strange pacing.

Then, at the end of the performance, he lifted the microphone and dropped it.

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