"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 said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
She performed the sultry, jazzy rendition of the song — to mixed reviews.
Jimmy Kimmel, who was in the crowd, appeared amused as did Chance the Rapper, who covered his mouth as he laughed. Comedian Chris Rock looked stunned.
NBA All-Star captains LeBron James and Steph Curry seemed to giggle while Draymond Green looked shocked before eventually laughing.
Social media had something to say, too.
Shoutout to Fergie for using the national anthem to finally unify a divided country
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) February 19, 2018I'm not saying I'd watch a 30 for 30 on the Fergie anthem but I'm also *not* saying I wouldn't
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) February 19, 2018JUST ANNOUNCED: Fergie will NOT be singing the National Anthem on Opening Day. Performer still TBD.
— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) February 19, 2018SOCIAL MEDIA STAYS UNDEFEATED!!! ?????????????? LIKE Our Page Fake SportsCenter! Credit - Rob_lane_edits
Posted by Fake SportsCenter on Sunday, February 18, 2018“What you think about Fergie’s national anthem?”
Whitney Houston & Marvin Gaye:pic.twitter.com/NIZqPxmVYh
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 19, 2018Even Roseanne Barr, who famously destroyed the national anthem in 1990 when she grabbed her crotch during her performance, denounced Fergie’s rendition.
“Who saw Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey,” Barr wrote on Twitter.