Almost two years ago, to the DAY, Fergie took an artistic risk on a little song called the Star-Spangled Banner, and America had no choice but to fall to their knees. No, they weren’t protesting. They were worshipping. Because they knew Fergie’s warbling, Ambien-induced, Twins Peaks-inspired ode to Lana Del Ray’s SNL performance had officially changed the anthem game forever. Case in point, living Chaka Khan’s performance.
Last night, at yet another NBA All-Star game, it was Chaka’s turn to make the anthem all her own.
Chaka served us “homeschool kid who’s never actually heard the anthem, but memorized the lyrics, and will try her darndest to make it work, on this, her first day at regular school”. I’m not sure if any of those notes were correct. Not that it was off-key; Chaka belted like only Chaka could. It’s just that they were randomly chosen. She concocted a totally new melody, perhaps in an attempt to score some future songwriter residuals?
Twitter had thoughts, of course:
Fergie *butchers national anthem* creating endless memes for the internet.
— Nishant Varughese (@NishKokoFish) February 17, 2020
The guy who chose Fergie and Chaka Khan to sing the national anthem at the NBA all star game right now….. pic.twitter.com/II2R7KTEgt
— Vinnie T (@vinnietes16) February 17, 2020
I LOVE Chaka Kahn…but she was lowkey actin like Bobby from Proud Family with that National Anthem 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/d69j7ZhmpY
— erris.x (@ErrisX) February 17, 2020
Yahoo! says the average length of the national anthem performance is between 105 and 115 seconds. Chaka’s was 142. See, this is why Chaka’s been in the game for fifty goddamn years. You give her under two minutes? She will belt and vamp and milk every single throwaway note, so that, for an extra thirty seconds, all eyes are on HER. THAT is a star. THAT is Chaka Khan.