Fergie: Anthem 'rendition didn't strike the intended tone'

Fergie's national anthem draws criticism (2:19)

The Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie provides a unique take on the national anthem before the NBA All-Star Game, evoking a few laughs from players and fans inside Staples Center. (2:19)

Nearly 24 hours after her controversial rendition of the national anthem, Fergie issued a statement Monday addressing criticism of her performance at Sunday's NBA All-Star Game.

"I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA," the Black Eyed Peas singer said in the statement. "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."

While Fergie tried something different with her national anthem, not everybody was cheering.

Her slow, bluesy rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the 67th edition of the NBA's annual showcase wasn't particularly well received at Staples Center or on social media.

A low chuckle rumbled through the sold-out arena after Fergie finished the first line of the song with a throaty growl on "the dawn's early light."

Fans throughout the star-studded crowd reacted with varying levels of bemusement and enthusiasm while her languid, two-plus-minute version of the song continued. Although Fergie was on pitch, her tempo, musical accompaniment and sexy delivery were not exactly typical for a sporting event or a patriotic song.

Golden State All-Star Draymond Green captured the mood -- and became an instant GIF -- when he was shown open-mouthed on the scoreboard and the television broadcast in apparent confusion over the unique vocal stylings. Green then chuckled to himself after realizing he was on TV.

After a forceful finish, Fergie finally got big cheers when she shouted, "Let's play some basketball!"

The Grammy Award-winning singer, born Stacy Ann Ferguson, is from nearby Hacienda Heights, California.

Basketball commentator Charles Barkley joked during the TNT halftime show that he "needed a cigarette" after Fergie's performance.

Former Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal leaped to Fergie's defense, saying: "Fergie, I love you. It was different. It was sexy. I liked it. Leave her alone."

Others on social media weren't as kind, with criticism of the performance outpacing the positive reviews.

The Forum in nearby Inglewood, California, was the site of one of the most famous national anthems in sports history during another NBA All-Star Game 35 years ago.

Marvin Gaye's touching rhythm-and-blues version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1983 game was initially criticized but has since gained widespread acceptance as a groundbreaking musical performance.

Fergie is more likely to join the long list of curious versions of the anthem, even though she showed far more impressive vocal chops than the likes of Roseanne Barr or Carl Lewis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.