Looks like R&B will show up heavy at next month's Super Bowl. Along with halftime performer Beyonce will be Alicia Keys to do perform the Star Spangled Banner before the live, world broadcast of the most important football game of the year.
Not only that, but Keys promises to deliver the anthem in a new way. Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah while promoting her new movie "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," Keys says, "I'm really excited about it, I can't even lie. I have to rehearse it totally, as if it's a brand new song, because it is actually a brand new song in the style that I'll deliver it. I'm actually rehearsing it like a maniac." Keys' adaptation would be in the company of many who attempted to jazz up the National Anthem; Marvin Gaye's version at the 1983 NBA All Star Game comes to mind. Ray Charles even switched up the patriotic song “America the Beautiful, his version still played to this day at sporting events.
The pressure to be perfect when performing our country's song is real to anyone who's had to sing it. On mistake on a lyric will send many reeling because of the reverence that comes with what the song stands for. (The most recent is Christina Aguilera's flub at the 2011 Super Bowl). It's part of many artist's legacy; a performance of the Star Spangled Banner will stick in the minds of the masses forever as good or bad performance. Many people don't think it's proper to add any bells and whistles to our National Anthem, calling it disrespectful. But for a musical “artist,” it's their job to be musically creative.
Where do you stand? Should music artists be able to do creative adaptations of the National Anthem that stray from the traditional?