The All-Star game on Sunday was undeniably a big event for NBA fans, so Nelly Furtado’s performance of “O Canada” only seemed like a fitting addition to the sporting event. However, fans certainly didn’t see it that way, with criticism coming in across the board for the singer’s performance.
As is customary at these events, the show is opened with a rendition of the national anthem, and this time, the honor was graced upon Canadian singer and songwriter Nelly Furtado. The start opted for a slow and melodious version of “O Canada,” with Native-American flutist Tony Duncan joining her on stage to provide accompanying music. Judging by the reaction from the crowd in the Air Canada Centre, the performance appeared to go down pretty well, drawing in big cheers and applause from around the iconic stadium.
However, the reaction from fans watching along at home was very different. This came as CBC Toronto took to Twitter to ask followers what they thought of the rendition, with many fans replying with reactions along the lines of “Worst rendition ever!” One fan even said he was left “betrayed and bewildered.”
— Justin Winger (@JustinWinger86) February 15, 2016
— Gerry Dee (@gerrydee) February 15, 2016
— Canadian Critic (@CanCritic) February 15, 2016
That was followed by even some high-profile names like Michael Wilbon jumping in and describing their disappointment around the performance. For a singer who is usually well loved in her native Canada, this negative reaction will certainly have come as something of a surprise for Nelly Furtado. In fact, comments that her rendition made ears bleed might just affect the singer’s appearances at similar sporting events in the future. As far as opening renditions of the Canadian national anthem go at sporting events, it’s fair to say that none of them have received a negative reaction on the same level as that of Nelly Furtado.
Born in British Columbia, Nelly Furtado first became a well-known name on the Canadian music scene back in 1996, known for the range of different music genres that she covers, including R&B, pop, folk, hip-hop, and Latin. Her various albums over her career have received widespread critical acclaim, and she’s also received a number of awards for her work with various record labels, including DreamWorks, Universal, and more.
Nelly Furtado’s performance was widely anticipated, considering it’s her first public appearance in a little while. However, we’re not too sure that fans of the NBA really appreciated what some considered to be a mocking of the national anthem. However, that wasn’t the view of everyone watching the event at home. A few of her loyal fans commented that they loved her simple and thoughtful rendition of the national anthem, while other fans were simply loving the fact that the star was trending on Twitter. It goes without saying that this particular performance from Nelly Furtado definitely split opinions amongst her own fans and fans of the NBA.
Prior to Furtado taking to the stage, the event also saw Ne-Yo perform his own low-key version of the U.S. national anthem. That was alongside Sting’s rendition of a collection of his greatest hits during the halftime show. In terms of musical renditions and performances, the NBA All-Star game definitely appeared to be competing with last week’s Super Bowl in the United States. However, many fans wouldn’t say that Furtado’s performance even compared with that of Lady Gaga last week.
For such a well-loved singer and songwriter, seeing such high levels of criticism towards Nelly Furtado definitely comes as something of a surprise.
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