Viewers of the Indianapolis 500 are debating whether or not Jewel’s performance of the National Anthem was meant for them, and if they were meant for it.
Jewel knows her preferred version of the national anthem, and she’s sticking to it. The four-time Grammy nominee delivered it acoustically ahead of February’s 2023 NBA All-Star Game and generated myriad reactions on Twitter, including people’s thoughts on her patchwork ensemble.
On Sunday, May 28, Jewel broke out a monochrome white two-piece — complete with a cowgirl hat and checkered scarf — but her acoustic rendition of the national anthem was the same.
Yet again, people on Twitter reacted, and depending on where you look, Jewel either performed the best or worst national anthem of all time.
“I’m sorry, but the National Anthem should NEVER be changed up like this. Good artist, bad choice!” a Twitter user going by TG MOMMA LAURA wrote. Someone else named Barb Spurgin “loved it,” and the dichotomous reactions continued.
“This is the perfect example of how not to do the national anthem. It was to the point of being disrespectful.”
“Jewel’s national anthem for indy 500 might be the worst anthem rendition to date”
“Jewel just did the best national anthem I’ve ever heard in my life I’m not exaggerating”
“I LOVED IT!!! Gorgeous.”
“I was expecting to hear a change in the lyrics from all the media . I sang along with her waiting and nothing happened. I don’t understand what the problem is. She knew all the lyrics and sang it beautifully. It was a lil different but she ain’t the first , won’t be last.
Jewel’s appearance at the Indy 500 seemed personal for her. On Instagram, she shared a sit-down discussing mental health stigmas alongside IndyCar driver David Malukas.
“I remember doing the anthem at a Super Bowl once, and I knew the song. I was really prepared. I was really calm. And when I stepped up to the mic, my heart rate did its own thing,” Jewel said in the Instagram clip. “That made me out of breath, and I was like, ‘Oh, wait, now I have to sing this out of breath,’ and that was so different.”
In other words, maybe people shouldn’t rush to judgment every time Jewel sings the national anthem.
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