County singer, Luke Bryan, is our Whiner of the Week for his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at this year’s Baseball All-Star Game. If you saw Brian in action, you noticed that while he was singing, he kept looking at his hand.
Why was he doing this? Bryan admits that he wrote down some words on his hand so he wouldn’t become lost in the lyrics. While singing, he also looked at his watch, in order to keep tabs on some fast approaching fighter jets.
To a global audience it all made him look like he was cheating on a test, while also being in a rush to go somewhere else. Is this performing our anthem to its full potential?
The song is not the easiest one to perform and Bryan has apologized for his shortcomings. I accept his apology and salute the fact that he chose to sing and not lip synch the song. But I also feel like saying, “Enough!” when it comes to celebrity singers at these high profile events. Here’s how we can solve this problem:
• Get the song right. As people who are paid to memorize songs, a singer should be able to tackle the job.
• You don’t need to rearrange the song. It may not be in your style but you don’t need to rework it. Simply sing the song.
• I don’t want to hear any complaints about being nervous in front of a crowd. Singing in front of big groups is also part of your job. Stadiums don’t have the best acoustics, so I expect you to practice beforehand in the space.
• The organizers of these events shouldn’t put the pressure of keeping track of fighter jets on performers. Their job should be to sing, not monitor fast moving objects.
• No matter what your record label, your manager, or your publicist tells you, don’t sing the anthem unless you know you’ll knock it out of the park. There’s no shame in turning down the gig. A private disappointment is better than a public failure.