LeBron James struggled to keep it together during Macy Gray’s rendition of the National Anthem during the NBA All-Star Game. A clip showed the Los Angeles Lakers player pursing his lips together to try to stop a cackle from coming out as Macy sang “gave proof through the night.” By the time she got to “that our flag was still there,” LeBron had to keep his head down so that his fellow players and spectators wouldn’t catch him breaking. Watch the moment unfold below.
LeBron trying to stop himself from laughing 💀 pic.twitter.com/9OjVSXTNDY
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 21, 2022
It’s unclear whether it was the unique sound of her voice or the passion with which she performed that almost made LeBron break but Macy knows she has a different sound and has capitalized on that. She describes the “unique vocal rasp and the high tones in her voice” on her website and noted that “she has been described as sounding like ‘a human kazoo.'”
This moment brings back memories of Fergie’s performance of the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star game four years ago. Fergie made some bold changes to the National Anthem, attempting to give it a jazzy and sultry feel. Between the bizarre rhythm choices, interesting pronunciations and out-of-placing screlting, the players on the sidelines, including Steph Curry and Draymond Green, weren’t able to contain their laughter and burst out laughing mid-song.
Others felt it was an insensitive move since it is meant to pay tribute to the country and being asked to sing it is a sign of respect. With all of the negative reactions circling around, it didn’t take long for Fergie to speak out about her performance. She apologized the following day and it explained her intent behind the bold choices she made.
“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” she said in a statement acquired by PEOPLE. “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.” Aside from the difficulty of the song, time has proved that taking on singing the National Anthem is no easy gig.