Jewel Receives a Mixture of Criticism and Praise Over National Anthem Performance at the Indy 500 

Beloved musician, Jewel, is receiving quite the honest mixture of criticism and praise – both love and hate – from NASCAR fans who tuned into the singing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the 2023 Indianapolis 500, also known as the Indy 500. For those that missed it, Jewel was the guest singer. 

Those that know Jewel are well-aware that she often likes to put her own spin on things and that’s exactly what she did with the National Anthem on Sunday. Playing the guitar while she sang, Jewel’s version of the song was much slower and a little more soulful than the National Anthem we’re used to hearing. 

Like any other rendition of ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ fans either really enjoyed Jewel’s unique take on the song or absolutely hated it. And NASCAR fans weren’t shy about letting others know which side of the spectrum they landed on in this debate – ultimately taking to social media to let their opinions be known. 

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One Twitter user described her performance as ‘the perfect example of how not to do the national anthem’ and even said ‘it was to the point of being disrespectful.’ Another user called it ‘one of the worst National Anthem performances’ they’ve ever seen – adding that it was bad, but ‘not Roseanne bad.’ 

Adding to the criticism, one user said Jewel ‘butchered’ the anthem and, while some people were trying to sing along, they simply couldn’t ‘because of the way she sang it.’ Many were quick to point out they actually like Jewel’s music and overall voice, but her rendition of the anthem was just a ‘bad choice.’ 

With that said, not everyone hated her performance and some even preferred her version over the typical generic performance we’re used to hearing. “Jewel just did the best national anthem I’ve ever heard in my life I’m not exaggerating,” said one user on Twitter, proving that we all have different tastes in music. 

Another user defended Jewel, arguing that her performance fell in line with her usual style of music. “What people don’t know that it is her style. changes in pitches, staletto, all she does well,” they said on Twitter – another person adding that it takes ‘guts and talent to add a personal touch to an anthem.’ 

Jewel is No Stranger to Singing the National Anthem

Those that have followed Jewel throughout her career know that she is no stranger to singing the National Anthem and has done so at numerous sporting events in the past. One of her biggest performances came at the beginning of Super Bowl XXXII on January 25, 1998 – a game between the Broncos and Packers. 

And while the Indy 500 is her most recent National Anthem performance, it’s not even the first time she’s done so in 2023. Earlier this year, the singer took center stage to perform the National Anthem at the 2023 NBA All-Star game on February 19. The All-Star game was held in Utah, where she was born. 

And while many people believe her Indy 500 performance was too long and drawn out, they’d be surprised to learn she’s actually credited with the shortest National Anthem performance in Super Bowl history – it only lasted 1 minute, 27 seconds. The longest such performance was 2 minutes, 35 seconds. 

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Whether you liked it or not, singing the National Anthem live in front of hundreds of thousands of fans – including millions of others watching from their homes – isn’t easy. And while many people want it done the same way every time, a lot of these performers would rather put their own spin on it – which is okay!

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