Chaka Khan’s performance of the national anthem at Sunday’s 2020 NBA All-Star Game has ignited polarizing reactions from the public.
However, the performance got mixed reactions, with some comparing it to Fergie’s controversial, jazzed up rendition of the song in 2018.
“We’ve had some bizarre takes on anthems at All-Star games recently, Fergie being one. But this might top the lot,” tweeted one fan.
"I adore Chaka Khan. She is a living legend, but I DID NOT like that rendition of the Star Spangled Banner AT ALL,” wrote another viewer. “Lord help her. #NBAAllStar.”
Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell meanwhile called the performance "disrespectful."
"If I take heat so what!!!" he wrote on Instagram. "I’m trying to watch the @nba all star game.... The young lady from Canada did a great jog to honor her county.... cut to Chaka Khan 🤐.... Our anthem is to bring unity ( not to use it to glorify ones self) wow.... very disrespectful."
Others, including Magic Johnson, applauded the singer, calling her performance “amazing.”
“Cookie and I are enjoying an incredible start to the NBA All Star Game 2020!” he tweeted. “Great seeing all of the NBA players, Chance the Rapper, Common, and rapper Quavo. Chaka Khan’s star spangled banner rendition was amazing!”
Cookie and I are enjoying an incredible start to the NBA All Star Game 2020! Great seeing all of the NBA players, Chance the Rapper, Common, and rapper Quavo. Chaka Khan’s star spangled banner rendition was amazing! pic.twitter.com/qBG1sqj3JE— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 17, 2020
Another viewer tweeted, “Chaka Khan is an icon. No slander will be tolerated. Not this Black History Month 😂.”
Chaka Khan is an icon. No slander will be tolerated. Not this Black History Month 😂— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) February 17, 2020
Regardless of the mixed reactions, the songstress herself had a ball at the game, taking to social media afterwards to share photos with Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish.
#NBAAllStar2020 game was so much fun & exciting in my hometown 🏀 #Chicago💜,” she wrote.
The event also featured performances from Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson, and tributes to late basketballer Kobe Bryant.
See more on the game below.