10 unique (in a good way) performances of the national anthem

Zoë Petersen, Deseret News

The criticism was swift following Jewel’s recent performance of the national anthem at the Indy 500. Gently strumming her acoustic guitar, the singer-songwriter managed to turn “The Star-Spangled Banner” into a soft folk ballad.

She had performed this version just a few months before at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game held in Salt Lake City (Jewel was born in Payson, Utah), but for whatever reason, this time around, her creative take led to intense division among listeners — everything from “the anthem isn’t a ’90s pop ballad” to “likely one of the best versions I’ve heard,” Billboard reported.

Some listeners believed the singer “butchered” the anthem by putting her own twist on it, per Today. But there’s actually a long history of artists bringing their own unique interpretations — some admittedly better than others — to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Here’s a look at 10 creative takes on the national anthem (we’re focusing…


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