Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” can lead to a viral moment. An actor can shine, or the performance can be considered offensive.
The latest example is Flavor Flav. The legendary faker sang the anthem for the Hall of Fame rap group in Milwaukee on Sunday before the Public Enemy Bucks played the Atlanta Hawks.
If you haven’t heard, listen and judge for yourself.
S/O @FlavorFlav for the flavor song! pic.twitter.com/O1UT9sYTZG
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 29, 2023
The reviews are mixed. Some marvel at Flav’s ability to deliver notes, while others miss a man not known for his singing ability attempting the American National Anthem.
Some of the best songwriting memories happened before the internet went viral for a moment. That doesn’t make them any less memorable than Flav or any other version that happened.
In any case, here are some versions of the anthem from major sporting events that are hard to forget – for better or for worse.
Houston’s version of the anthem on January 27, 1991 during Super Bowl XXV is considered by some to be the greatest ever performed at a sporting event. She sang it during the Gulf War. There was an important tension in the country over who would win the football game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills.
Houston was flawless in her delivery, and her sweatshirt with USA became iconic.
Feb. 13, 1983 Gaye’s performance at the NBA All-Star Game may shock cultural pundits, but his soulful version of the anthem is, for some, rivaled only by Houston. The story behind it is just as good.
Marvin Gaye’s NBA All-Star Game National Anthem, 40 Years Later, Still Moves Souls
It is one of the last memories of Gaye, who died on April 1, 1984.
Lewis, a decorated track and field star, said these words after his voice cracked while singing the words “Red Flash” before a Jan. 21, 1993 game between the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets. Watching Nets forward Derek Coleman bite his warm jacket to keep from laughing is hard to forget.
Louis took his time in stride. He’s still one of the greatest Olympians in American history — even if he’s never been asked to sing at another sporting event.
Attending the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in person, Fergie’s rendition actually didn’t look bad. Maybe I was distracted, but sometimes, the singer of the night gave the impression.
This was done in the year Draymond Green’s expression GIF is used to this day.
Many would not call this experiment “singing.”
The controversial comedian heard the cheers and laughter at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, and in 2011 In her July 25, 1990 issue of the… Let’s call the actions she thinks have given respect to baseball players. Many did not see it that way.
In the year August 18, 1969 Could anyone else have pulled it off like Hendricks did at Woodstock?
It’s hard to imagine someone strumming a guitar like him. For an event meant to highlight the counterculture of the day, for some it was only appropriate to improvise the song.
Were you surprised to see the Hall of Fame edge rusher sing before a preseason game? Many of them were before the Hall of Fame Game on August 3, 2023.
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee DeMarcus Ware sang the National Anthem before the first game! pic.twitter.com/rP5XXNxXr1
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFONBC) August 4, 2023
It was done in honor of his late teammate Demaryius Thomas, who sang the song before Denver Broncos games. Ware was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame that weekend, and singing was part of a memorable weekend.
The song doesn’t matter; Vandross can make anything smooth. For some reason, he got the nickname “Velvet Voice”.
Vandross performed this version of the song on January 26, 1997 at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans.
The multi-talented Red Hot Chili Peppers musician is a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan (he’s performed the song for them more than once) and was honored to perform the song at Kobe Bryant’s final game on April 13, 2016 against the Utah Jazz.
Flea playing the national anthem at Kobe Bryant’s 2016 farewell 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/IX0FzKicpc
— Red Hot Chili Pepper Videos (@RHCPvideos) October 16, 2020
His version is different from Hendrix’s. Bryant entertained Flee Bass with a special touch before dropping 60 points in his farewell game.
Guitar and singing at the same time? In the year February 12, 2023 Stapleton rips it off before Super Bowl LVII.
It’s one of the most memorable versions of the song – and that’s not a recent bias. Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was in tears.
Chris Stapleton’s rendition of the national anthem last Super Bowl is exactly how the anthem should be performed, in my opinion the best rendition of the anthem ever pic.twitter.com/2UFJmFMR3R
— Dakota (@DaLoneWolf97) October 23, 2023
Couple Stapleton with Babyface’s “America the Beautiful” at the same pregame time, and it was a great day for Super Bowl music.
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(Flavor Flav photo: Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images)