NBA All-Star 2020: Chaka Khan National Anthem Draws Intense Fergie Comparisons

At the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, Fergie set a new standard by which all bad performances of the National Anthem have been compared to ever since. On Sunday night, almost everyone watching the 2020 NBA All-Star Game brought up that performance after funk legend Chaka Khan sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." Her performance was instantly compared to Fergie's, with some trying to figure out who's was worse.

To kick off the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Fergie tried out a jazzy interpretation of the National Anthem. It did not go over well, and was quickly ridiculed. The crowd at the arena laughed and the image of Draymond Green chucking quickly became a meme. Green's meme was even used in tweets about Khan's performance.

A source close to Fergie later told Us Weekly she did not think anything was wrong about the performance at first.

"Neither Fergie nor her team thought anything was wrong with her national anthem rendition," the source said. "That's the way she sings a lot of her songs. She loves adding a little sexiness and being different with her riffs. It was meant to be jazz-inspired. She wanted to stand out."

The day after the former Black Eyed Peas singer's performance, she did admit things did not go as well as she hoped.

"I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA," Fergie told TMZ. "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."

Before Khan's performance, Jennifer Hudson sang on the court during an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers legend and his daughter Gianna Bryant were among the nine victims of a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.


Hudson performed "For All We Know" while photos from Bryant's live and career were shown onscreen.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images