Best of the Worst: ‘Star Spangled Banner’ Edition

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Fergie, Anita Baker, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake.

First mention of the aforementioned names usually evoke memories of some of the past two decades’ top pop hits.  However, as our list below details, even some of music’s most prized acts have hit their fair share of sour notes.

Every year on U.S. ‘Independence Day’ the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Beyonce are oft-praised for their awe-inspiring renditions of the U.S. national anthem ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, while other renditions of the historical number will go down in history for some less flattering reasons.

Forgotten words, bum notes, and all around embarrassment await below.  See our top 10 list of the “best of the worst” ‘Star Spangled Banner’ performances and weigh in:

Top 10 Worst Anthems Ever?

(in no particular order)

Keyshia Cole


Steven Tyler

Kat Deluna

Christina Aguilera

Marsha Ambrosius

Mary J. Blige

Anita Baker

Justin Timberlake

Aaron Neville

Honorable Mentions:

Chris Brown

Alicia Keys

Cheetah Girls (TGJ Pick For Worst)

Your thoughts?

This Week's Top Commentators

Top Commentators

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  1. July 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    Jonathan Gardner says:

    THISSS is how you sing the anthem!!

    This is for you Keyshia *skip to 2:22*

  2. July 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm
    Robin says:

    Aaron Neville… Just because his voice does not fit for these kind a songs… :)

    I actually liked Christina here !

    And atleast they all dared to sing live !

    • July 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm
      king z says:

      i knew as soon as i saw this headline that peeps would throw beyonce shade!

      first off, many of the best singers have lip synced the anthem. don’t get it twisted.

      and hell, from the sound of things, singing live was NOT in some of those people’s best interest

      • July 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm
        FAF says:

        DEADDDD Have u seen family guy where they had that Aaron Neville effect on their voices? *Flatlines*

      • July 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm
        Robin says:

        But Beyonce sang it live a few day’s later.. So it’s fine i guess :)

        I did not mean Beyonce in particular… I just meant that they dared to sing it live at that important moment :)

      • July 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm
        etone says:

        f*** BEYONCE the point was she ruined OBAMAs Presidential Inauguration the fake b**** should have sung her heart out for African people and American history and those who died so she can be free like Aretha Franklin did who sung live in the same cold weather.
        there was no excuse.

      • July 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm
        etone says:


        many real singers would’ve sung their heart out LIVE for OBAMA & KING

      • July 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm
        Brandys Starr says:

        Um no she was advised not to. Why would she go against advice and risk messing up?

  3. July 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm
    DanYiel Teflon says:


  4. July 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    Cassie lover says:

    Kat Delunas is the worst

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm
      Nomaam,nogirl says:

      a cassie stan (who knew such things existed) dare weigh in on someone’s vocals? if kat deluna did the star spangled banner through sign language she would STILL sound better than cassie!

      #the nerve

      • July 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm
        FAF says:

        I don’t think Kat sounded that bad. Nor did Anita

  5. July 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    king z says:

    i’m sorry for fergie and keyshia cole take the cake for me. fergie sounded like a damn dolphin in a microwave.

    kat deluna was bad too. and aaron neville…well…he sounds like himself. he always gives me that “shivering goat” sound even when he sings his own songs. did anybody expect different when he sang the national anthem?

  6. July 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm
    pass me my dress says:

    aaron neville sounded like somebody was flushing him down a toilet! a hot mess

    thanks for the laughs TGJ

  7. July 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    Realest says:

    Lol ain’t TGJ a UK based site? Stop riding American c*** like you’re one of us. Celebrate you’re own Uk Holidays, this is OUR DAY to celebrate out freedom( and subsequent SURPASS) from y’all! stop trying to partake like you’re one of us.. Have a seat and some tea&crumpets! You’re not American no matter how much you sack us!!!!

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm
      FAF says:

      Girl, shut up

  8. July 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    Woman To Woman says:

    Atleast they gave LIVE PERFORMANCES. While others fake it to make it…..

  9. July 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    christinastherealtalent says:

    Really TGJ? You know how this post is going to play out but starting drama on a holiday is beyond tacky!

  10. July 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    pass me my dress says:

    ^^^ shade knows no holiday honey. like the shade you are throwing yourself with your username

  11. July 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm
    christinastherealtalent says:

    But let’s not forget how this site purposely left off their fave BEYONCE.

    Hey y’all remember when Beyoncé lipped the Star Spangled Banner and tried to make it seem like she sang it live then when the truth was outed BEYONCE came up with every excuse there is?

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm
      Nomaam,nogirl says:

      plenty of people lip sync the SSB. hell and even if she did lip sync it, its not like she can’t sing it. she’s done it a million times live and slayed many-a-fave including yours

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm
      Lmao says:

      Who cares? Whitney was caught up in the same thing. This happens all the time.

    • July 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm
      Special Delivery says:

      Beyonces not the first or last to sing along to a pre recorded track. Some of the best versions are. Its not considered a bad rendition like Xtinas is sorry.

  12. July 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    FAF says:

    Why was fergie growling like that ? 😆

  13. July 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    Lmao says:

    Um these people SHOULD have faked it. Christina always does too much in her performances. She shouts as loud as she can and tries to call that singing. Ugh. Keyshia Cole’s was terrible also.

  14. July 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    JARED (WHITE DUDE) says:

    The “Top Three Greatest ‘Star Spangled Banner’ performances of all time” belong to (in particular order):

    1) Whitney Houston – 1991

    2) Marvin Gaye – 1983

    3) Barbra Streisand – 1981

    [Jennifer Hudson gave the best performance of this century, however]

    #CaseClosed. 😉

  15. July 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    Nomaam,nogirl says:

    im surprised no one has said anything about marsha ambrosius! that performance was sheer horror

  16. July 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    Rosie says:

    Not you girls really trying to start drama on the 4th of July, this is as bad as when y’all were waiting for me in that one post on Mother’s Day. Get a life.

  17. July 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    Rosie says:

    OffKeyshia’s anthem, though.

  18. July 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    juan lopez says:
  19. July 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    MonsterDNA says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t way anything about Rihanna’s rendition. Even tho it’s not one of the worst, you never know with TGJ.

  20. July 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    LalaLoo says:

    The Cheetah Girls singing Star Spangled Banner has been one of the worst things I ever heard in my life…. but at the same time it’s so freaking hilarious!

    • July 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm
      Mark111 says:

      Y’all sure this wasn’t the chipmunks?

  21. July 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    ashley says:

    I always look forward to jared’s comments,no bias just the truth respect my favorite.

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm
      JARED (WHITE DUDE) says:

      Thank you Hon. 😉 x

  22. July 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    SP says:

    All of these are terrible, a couple of them had me holding my sides I was laughing so hard.
    Aaron Neville in my opinion is one of the worst singers of all time. I will give him credit tho,when he was younger he could carry a tune. Now he sounds like his voice is has Parkinson’s disease…
    Live or not Whitney,Beyonce,Mariah all sounded better then pugtina.
    Destiny’s Child had a great rendition in 06.
    @Jared Jennifer Hudson sounded like the normal screaming mess she always sounds like. That wasn’t singing it was yelling.I thought you’d know the difference, you’re usually spot on lol

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm
      JARED (WHITE DUDE) says:


      Oh, come on…

      She wasn’t that bad.

      Yes, in terms of ‘tonal quality’, there wasn’t that much there to be admired. It did sound as if she were shouting in certain parts…

      But, as for the ‘power and emotion’ that was in her voice, I truly felt it. Not to mention that she had just lost several of her family members weeks prior. Personally speaking, I honestly believe that she sang the song as greatly as she could. I liked it. 😉

  23. July 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    JOHNVIDAL says:

    Damn I was inmediately interested in this post when I saw Justin Timberlake´s name! I clicked “down below” cos I didn´t know and I couldn´t believe he tried this song. I suppose it was long ago cos like I said I didn´t know he did it. And damn, in a way he didn´t sound bad for his standards but his voice is so limited that it was truly painful.
    The rest of the girls… yeah they pretty much screamed cos having a “big” voice doesn´t mean you are a great singer at all. There´s a reason why people like Whitney or Mariah are pure greatness and these other girls aren´t. Whitney Houston is THE VERSION and that´s it. They should replay it at every sports events from now on :)

  24. July 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm
    JOHNVIDAL says:

    Who is Aaron Nevile? LOL OMFG that was f****** terrible, hysterical. I can´t stop laughing!

  25. July 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    The Soulful Siren Monica "Miss Thang" Brown says:

    Lovely Rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”

  26. July 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Patriotic & Moving...Go Faith Hill says:

    Lovely Faith Hill

  27. July 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm
    Patriotic & Moving...Go Faith Hill says:

    Lovely Faith Hill

  28. July 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm
    Patriotic & Moving....Kudos Faith Hill says:


  29. July 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    Dev says:

    Not everyone voice is for the National Anthem, and this does not make (some artists) any less of singers.
    If i’m honest, the worst was keyshia Cole and not for the singing but for that grandma wig she decided to wear (and I will not even mention the outfit)

  30. July 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    DOSSOME says:

    Aaron Neville’s DON’T KNOW MUCH is a classic..That is all i will say *Runs off and hides*

  31. July 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    cde says:

    This is a hard one Cheetah Girls, the struggle was #REAL but Adrienne tried to save the day and gave it the best that she had at the end
    Keyshia #thatIsAll
    I don’t believe Steven Tyler was being serious and those drugs have fried his brain so I’ll count him out
    Christina should have know better and let her need to oversing, riff run and melisma throw her
    Breezy started off flat as a pancake but seemed to try to evoke something before the vid cut off
    Aaron is a black country legend so he gets a pass

    So…I’ll have to give it to Ms. Cole who came dressed to the NINES… sang for her life, was being dead A** serious and knew that she had swung it home…#NoRedemption You are the weakest link #GoodBye

  32. July 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm
    Suicide Blonde says:

    I don’t think Justin was bad at all, he sounded sweet.

  33. July 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm
    Special Delivery says:

    Lol at Keyshia Cole

  34. July 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm
    Harpo Who Dis b****? says:

    Almost all of them are Spicks and n****** Hmmmmmm…….. Disgusting Rodent Coloreds

  35. July 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm
    credits says:

    -Christina is usually a scream fest but she was actually easy on the ears this time. She took it down a notch.

    -Chris brown messed up on the very first line “oh-uh oh”
    Somebody tell him brandy runs are not for everybody

    -Kat Deluna has a great voice and i never knew that until i watched this. Obviously she just didn’t know what to do with that voice on the anthem. i think she was too busy trying to give “fierce pop star” with the neck rolling and all. She should have just sang.

    -Justin timberlake sounded quite nasal. But i must say, his softness on most parts was very refreshing from the usual power vocal renditions.

  36. July 5, 2013 at 1:24 am
    Lolz says:

    Looool these vids are funny as hell

  37. July 5, 2013 at 10:41 am
    Simona says:

    How about this rendition of Adam Lambert?

  38. July 15, 2013 at 1:57 am
    Jakelia says:

    Alicia’s wasn’t that bad, just too damn slow!!

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