Our National Anthem: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


In honor of America's birthday, we proudly present our picks for the best, worst and most shockingly awful renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" ever to grace the annals of YouTube. Note to all future musicians who will perform our national anthem: There's only a 45 percent success rate, so please make sure you memorize all the words before attempting America's most cherished song in front of thousands of people. While some of our favorite renditions (the Grateful Dead, Carl Lewis) weren't available on the Net, we stand and remove our caps for this list of anthems. Happy 4th!


The best: Jimi Hendrix's classic performance at Woodstock.

Phish's a cappella version before a New Jersey Nets game.

The best Super Bowl ever? Whitney Houston in her pre-Bobby Brown prime (plus the New York Giants went on to win the big game).

The Piano Man, Billy Joel, at this year's Super Bowl.

Marvin Gaye makes the national anthem sound romantic during his rendition from the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.


Michael Bolton forgets what the ramparts we watched were doing.

Christina Aguilera fails to merge hip-hop with patriotism.

Slash goes the Hendrix route, but ends up sounding like a kid at guitar practice.

R. Kelly had the right idea, but there's way too much dancing/hand clapping.

Hillary Clinton painfully forgets (and painfully reminds us) that she's wired for sound.

Almost as bad as lighting an American flag on fire.

This cop should be arrested for his horrible rendition.

Roseanne Barr banshees her way through the anthem, prompting San Diego to riot.

Borat sings Kazakhstan's national anthem.

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