Defending her artistry. Fergie is speaking out after receiving immense backlash regarding her jazz-inspired National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 18.
“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” she told Us Weekly in a statement on Monday, February 19.
She added: “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”
The pop diva’s statement comes just hours after her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was mocked by fans and even some famous faces via social media.
Khloe Kardashian was one of many to add her thoughts on the performance: “This All Star opening is confusing me,” she tweeted on Sunday. “WTF is going on? Anyone?”
“My golly. Fergie needs to be tazed, pepper sprayed and led off in handcuffs for her criminal rendition of the #NationalAnthem! Just awful!” one viewer wrote. Another added: “Yeah, you killed it. But not in a good way.”
Even the NBA commentators chimed in. Following her performance, Charles Barkley quipped: “Can we talk about [what we just saw?]” Meanwhile, fellow panelist Shaquille O’Neal defended the former Black Eyed Peas singer. “Oh, stop, don’t do that. Leave my Fergie alone,” he responded. “Fergie, I love you. It was different, it was sexy.”
“Damn right it was different,” Barkley replied. “I needed a cigarette after that.”
As previously reported, Fergie thought her performance was just fine. “Neither Fergie nor her team thought anything was wrong with her national anthem rendition,” an insider told Us. “That’s the way she sings a lot of her songs. She loves adding a little sexiness and being different with her riffs. It was meant to be jazz-inspired. She wanted to stand out.”
And not everyone dissed her performance. Fellow singer Mariah Carey came to Fergie’s defense on Monday when approached by TMZ. “Darling, nobody needs to listen to that,” she told the outlet of the haters.
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