Jewel’s ‘unique’ national anthem at the Indianapolis 500 has some claiming she ‘ruined’ it: ‘Disrespectful’

Pop and country music star Jewel performed her own rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Indianapolis 500 speedway on Sunday and the twist on the national anthem was panned by many fans as “disrespectful,” while others thought it was the best they’d ever heard.

The multi-platinum artist was tapped as the anthem singer earlier in May.

“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,” president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, J. Douglas Boles, proclaimed in a news release.

“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’s rendition will be a memorable and moving experience for fans at the track and watching from home on NBC,” he stated, making a massive understatement.

Instead of doing a classic rendition of the song, the Alaska-raised Folk artist, 49, came up with one that was far more nuanced and not at all traditional. The four-time Grammy-nominated artist composed a soulful version of the 200+-year-old song that many regarded as tone-deaf.

This rendition was similar in style and tone to the version of the national anthem she sang at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Utah, where she was born.

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. But Jewel’s performance overshadowed that patriotic spectacle and went viral almost immediately.

The singer’s twist on the national anthem was hammered on social media:

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