AceShowbiz - Jewel Kilcher had the honor to perform the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28. A four-time Grammy nominee, she made the song her own with her unique take on it.
The 49-year-old put together a soulful version of "The Star Spangled Banner" to kick off the race. While it wasn't a complete departure from the notes nor was it a horribly sung version, her twist on the classic tune had many viewers scratching their heads, with many calling the change "disrespectful."
"The anthem shouldn't be changed like that, borderline disrespectful," a viewer reacted on Twitter. Another panned the performance, "I'm sorry, but that was a horrible rendition of the national anthem!" A disappointed view wrote, "I'm sorry, but the National Anthem should NEVER, be changed up like this. Good artist, bad choice!"
"One of the worst National Anthem performances I've ever seen in my life," another user tweeted. "This is the perfect example of how not to do the national anthem. It was to the point of being disrespectful," a fifth critic said.
"Jewel butchered the national anthem at the Indy 500. People were trying to sing along but couldn't because of the way she sang it. What a shame," another echoed the sentiment. Someone else added, "jewel's national anthem for indy 500 might be the worst anthem rendition to date."
However, there were others who begged to differ, with one calling Jewel's rendition of the national anthem "fantastic." Another praised the "Stronger Woman" songstress, "Great job today, loved your rendition."
"I really liked your country spin on the National Anthem," another added. Someone said, "My mom said this was the best version of the anthem she's ever heard!" while another weighed in, "Jewel just did the best national anthem I've ever heard in my life I'm not exaggerating."
Jewel's gig at the Indy 500 was announced earlier this month. "The singing of the national anthem before the Indy 500 green flag is a signature and iconic moment at the Racing Capital of the World," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said in a news release on May 19.
"For over a century, we've gathered at IMS to salute our nation's military heroes, and the national anthem performance is a tradition that reminds us all of their sacrifice and bravery," he added. "Jewel's rendition will be a memorable and moving experience for fans at the track and watching from home on NBC."
Alex Palou started the race on the pole, but it was Josef Newgarden who took home victory. Alex is still at the top of the leaderboards after finishing 4th on Sunday's race, while reigning champion Marcus Ericsson currently places second.