Steven Tyler took some heat Sunday after singing an off-kilter, screechy version of The Star-Spangled Banner before an NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass.
The crowd at the game began heckling the American Idol judge, 63, as he worked his way through the national anthem, missing notes and flubbing lyrics.
He sang “as bomb bursting in air” instead of “the bombs bursting in air” and “oh the land of the free” instead of “o’er the land of the free.”
ESPN analyst Skip Bayless spoke for many when he Tweeted: “How could Patriots be inspired by that awful Anthem sung by Steven Tyler? At least give him some screaming guitars to camouflage voice.”
The journalist and humorist Greg Gutfeld added: “i went outside to put a raccoon out of its misery – then i realized my neighbor was watching Steven Tyler sing the Star-Spangled Banner.”
Others felt that the frontman of Boston-based Aerosmith was just being himself. “I’m not understanding the people who say Steven Tyler ‘butchered’ the national anthem,” wrote one of his fans on Twitter. “He sang as he always does … what were you expecting?”
By Tim Nudd