Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel clarified his reaction to Fergie’s rendition of the national anthem before the NBA All-Star Game Sunday that was caught on camera.
Kimmel was one of many celebrities caught smiling while the Black Eyed Peas singer sung a jazzy rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. NBA stars such as Steph Curry, LeBron James and Draymond Green were also caught smiling and laughing.
Kimmel used his platform to explain his smile in reaction to the performance.
Kimmel said he “somehow became part of a national anthem fiasco.”
“In hindsight, trying to work in the words ‘my humps my humps, my lovely lady lumps’ may have been a mistake,” Kimmel said referencing the popular Black Eyed Peas song, “My Humps.”
The late-night host said he started receiving text messages following his camera shot.
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“I didn’t realize I was on camera – but then my phone started just buzzing with text after text and I was like ‘Oh, I think I might have been on camera,’” Kimmel said. “Fergie even apologized for her performance. She said she tried her best and the reasons she decided to sing the song that way because she is a ‘risk taker.’”
After his explanation, Kimmel gave some advice to performers who would sing the national anthem in the future.
“Here’s the thing about taking risks when it comes to the national anthem: Don’t. Just don’t,” Kimmel said. “Don’t take risks when you’re doing brain surgery, don’t take risks driving a school bus – or singing the national anthem. Just regular is fine.”
The Oscars host said maybe the writer of the song, Francis Scott Key, wanted the ballad sung like how Fergie did.
“It’s not like she was intentionally trying to ruin the song, and in Fergie’s defense, we don’t know what Francis Scott Key was thinking when he wrote the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’ Maybe he wanted it to be sexy,” Kimmel said.
Fergie apologized Monday for the performance following the backlash she received.
“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best,” she told TMZ.