He’s used to rocking ‘The Late Show,’ but Jon Batiste brought his amazing skills to the 2017 NBA All-Star Game! The Louisiana-native, along with a grand piano, delivered a rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ that left everyone feeling patriotic!
Before LeBron James, 31, Kevin Durant, 28, Russell Westbrook, 28, and the rest of basketball’s best hit the court, Jon Batiste, 30, had the honor of singing the American national anthem. Sitting down at the piano, and dressed in a classy suit, Jon tickled the ivories before launching into a soulful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Though it wasn’t an extended cut, like when Aretha Franklin, 74, performed during the 2016 Thanksgiving NFL games, it was a faithful version that got everyone on their feet: even Jay Z, 47, and Beyonce, 35. The First Couple of Hip Hop was in attendance at the game and they made sure to stand for the national anthem!
— Anthony (@hollywoodblvd1) February 20, 2017
@JonBatiste beautiful performance of the National Anthem!!
— Worth Lambert (@worthlambert) February 20, 2017
— LB (@LBMarcie) February 20, 2017
— Goodwill Charlie (@KarlValere) February 20, 2017
— Emer O' Sullivan (@msemerosullivan) February 20, 2017
In the era of President Donald Trump, 70, even singing the national anthem can be seen as a highly political act, but Jon kept it professional. This NBA All-Star game is likely to be one of the most political games in the exhibition’s history. Originally scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, the NBA decided to relocate the All-Star weekend after the Republican-led legislature passed HB2 (aka the transgender “bathroom bill.”) After former-governor Pat McCrory, 60, signed the bill into law, the NBA hit the road.
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by the current law,” the NBA said. Ultimately, the bill cost the state $77 million in investments and visitor spending, as companies like PayPal and Duetsche Bank refused to set up offices in the state.
Along with Jon’s performance, The Roots opened up the NBA All-Star game with am original musical about the history of the NBA. The Evolution Of Greatness also featured Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs, 30, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 52, and DMC of Run DMC. This collection of hip-hop If that wasn’t enough, John Legend, 38, is still on tap to play the Halftime Show. Amazing!
What do you think about Jon’s performance of the National Anthem, HollywoodLifers?