An overcrowded United Center in Chicago fell silent for several moments before the 69th NBA All-Star game, as some 21,000 fans paid their respects to Lebron James. Before the start of the game, Chaka Khan performed "The Star Spangled Banner", chosing her own unique way of singing the national anthem.
Fans in the stands, celebrity guests, and even NBA players were bemused by Khan's singing style.
Netizens instantly took to social media, unpacking an arsenal of mocking posts.
Fergie and Chaka Khan’s national anthems: pic.twitter.com/zs7YqMrUmV— 𝓝𝓲𝓷𝓳𝓪¹🐝 (@NinjaScottSZN) February 17, 2020
Chaka Khan is a legend and an icon! That rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was terrible. #NBAAllStar2020— Eric with a sí (@HanSolo_1976) February 17, 2020
Me trying to figure out why it’s so hard for the NBA to find a good singer for the national anthem as Chaka Khan screeches in my ear.... pic.twitter.com/aXzLicnFcA— I wish I cared enough (@LashaeMari) February 17, 2020
Chaka Khan singing the national anthem for this year's NBA All-Star Game has ominous shades of Fergie's rendition 2 years ago! They both can't carry a tune if it was a suitcase when it comes to singing the national anthem! 😑 #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/BjC3lYM9ND— Roderick Harper (@rodharper) February 17, 2020
NBA players in this All-Star game wore No. 2 and No. 24 on their jerseys to honour Kobe Bryant, while the game’s format paid tribute to the well-respected sports hero.