Oh, say -- can they sing?
Apparently not. Or at least not the ever-challenging national anthem in high-profile performances. According to a new survey ranking the worst renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner," Christina Aguilera sits at the top -- or is it on the bottom? -- of that heap.
Aguilera's effort, when she botched lyrics at the 2011 Super Bowl, is ranked as the worst version of that song by nearly 37% of respondents in a survey of IHeartRadio listeners. Not far behind Aguilera was Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler's version last year for the AFC Championship Game, during which he failed to hit several high notes and also appeared lyrically challenged.
That version was cited by 24.7% of the more than 1,000 people chosen at random from the site's "active listener" population. They deemed Kat DeLuna's 2008 performance at an NFL game third with 13.1% of their votes, followed by Michael Bolton's 2003 version for the American League Championship Series (9.6%) and Creed singer Scott Stapp's performance (9%) at the 2005 NASCAR Ford 400 race.
It may be that the IHeartRadio audience is too young to remember Roseanne Barr's way-under-the-top vocal before a San Diego Padres game back in 1990, one that still is capable of inducing shudders in anyone with the remotest affinity for music.
In any event, it's all subjective. Billboard recently put together its own list of the worst versions of the star-mangled banner song, with DeLuna landing at No. 1, followed by Barr, Bolton, Stapp and, in fifth place, an R&B-foul triumvirate of Aretha Franklin, Aaron Neville and Dr. John at the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit.
IHeartRadio surveys its audience monthly on a variety of topics. Another subject of the survey that ranked the national anthem performances found that listeners favored "Lil' Kim" as an alternative name for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby, with 33.6% voting for that over Central Park (32.7%), Baby Yeezus (18.7%) and, Pop & Hiss' favorite, South By South (14.9%).
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