Multiplatinum singer Jewel performed the national anthem before the 2023 Indianapolis 500 and fan reaction was mixed.
Indy 500 fans called the performance everything from ‘The best I’ve ever seen’ to ‘mangled.’
As part of the opening ceremonies, New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base also sent four F-16 Vipers to this year’s Indy 500.
Here’s the replay, and what fans had to say about the performance and opening ceremonies at IMS.
Everything about the Indianapolis 500 is incredible, from the parade to the moment when the famous “Start your engines” is given. The race is held on Veterans Weekend and is a tribute to those who have defended America.
“The singing of the national anthem before the Indy 500 green flag is a signature and iconic moment at the Racing Capital of the World,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said in a news release on May 19.
“For over a century, we’ve gathered at IMS to salute our nation’s military heroes, and the national anthem performance is a tradition that reminds us all of their sacrifice and bravery.
Jewel performed the National Anthem.
Jewel came out with her guitar and started with the chords of the National Anthem, she sang it slowly, with a lot of feeling, at times it seemed like she was off key.
Several fans did not like the way she sang and made it known on social networks, the singer received a lot of criticism.
Jewel is a multiplatinum singer raised in Homer, Alaska. She grew up yodeling with her father in a local duo group. She rose to fame in the late 90s, signing with Atlantic Records. She’s got the small town to big city vibe if anyone ever saw her. She’s sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and now she’s sung at the Indy 500.
As part of the opening ceremonies, New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base also sent four F-16 Vipers. It brought fans to tears, just like Jewel’s rendition of the national anthem. She made the national anthem her own, performing with an acoustic guitar. Her voice was beautiful, as usual, and there were notes of her yodeling past. However, it garnered attention because of how differently she sang the song.
Some people struggled to sing along because it wasn’t the typical way it was sung. It must’ve been really hard for them. She’s not the first artist to have ever changed the song before. Still, some people found the rendition “butchered” because it wasn’t what they were used to.
One person said, “Jewel mangling the national anthem what a shocker.” Another agreed, “Jewel butchered the national anthem at the Indy 500. People were trying to sing along but couldn’t because of the way she sang it. What a shame.”
“Jewel butchered the national anthem at the Indy 500. People were trying to sing along but couldn’t because of the way she sang it. What a shame,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another shared, “jewel’s national anthem for indy 500 might be the worst anthem rendition to date.”
Others, however, praised the performance. “Jewel just did the best national anthem I’ve ever heard in my life I’m not exaggerating,” a viewer tweeted.
Another added, “Jewel singing the national anthem at the Indy 500 is a thing I didn’t even know I needed.”
Jewel’s latest album, Freewheelin’ Woman, was released in 2022 through her own Words Matter Media.
Watch Jewel sing the national anthem at the Indy 500 below, and see the mixed reactions to her performance.
One Twitter user demanded Jewel “STOP CHANGING THE MELODY AND RHYTHM OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM,” after Sunday’s performance, and even put her rendition in her personal “top 3 least favorites.”
“For the love of god, just sing the national anthem as it’s meant to be sung. Don’t put your own spin on it. Sacrilegious. Ugh,” Twitter user Concerned Canadian Serena shared of her take on the U.S. anthem.
“Jewel butchered the national anthem at the Indy 500,” added user Nancy Gould. “People were trying to sing along but couldn’t because of the way she sang it. What a shame.”
“I don’t care who attacks me for this, but I loved Jewel’s National Anthem,” another added. “I think it gave the words more meaning. As someone who’s heard it 1000s of times in my career, I was really listening to her and reflecting on the words.”
Some even admitted they “found nothing wrong” with Jewel’s rendition, and argued there’s “no one right way or style to sing the National Anthem, as long it’s respectful.”
“Never felt patriotic in my whole life til sitting through jewel singing the national anthem at the indy 500,” user @laHannz wrote.
While feedback may be mixed, Jewel’s rendition has certainly got fans talking.
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