Singing the National Anthem in front of a crowd of thousands can be a nerve-wracking experience--even for a seasoned performer. So, one would think that folks would have cut Luke Bryan a little slack when he did the honor at Tuesday night's Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City.
However, it proved hard for fans not to comment on Bryan's performance. During his rendition of the Anthem, the country singer was observed surreptitiously glancing at his hand, causing spectators to wonder if he'd actually written the words down on his palm.
"Luke Bryan sings the national anthem the way I used to take geometry tests," joked a fan on Twitter following the performance. Other (kinder) fans wondered if Bryan may have simply been checking his watch.
Turns out both theories were true. Bryan took to his own Twitter account to apologize in case he'd miffed any patriotic types out there, explaining that he had "a few key words written down" to ensure he wouldn't slip up such an important performance.
"I just wanted to do my best. I promise it was from the heart. If I offended anyone with my approach I sincerely apologize. Anytime I sing the anthem it is an honor and my heart beats out of my chest," he noted. "Being a part of the all star game was amazing and I look forward to the next time I can perform the anthem."
Bryan also explained that he was, indeed, checking his watch--he realized he'd started a little late, and he knew a stealth bomber was going to fly overhead as part of the show, so he wanted to get the time straight.
Regardless. Given the number of musicians who've suffered extraordinarily mortifying public screw-ups of the National Anthem over the years (including fairly recent flubs by Christina Aguilera and Lauren Alaina), Bryan's little "cheat" seems hardly that big of a deal--especially given the fact that he provided a solid delivery without any audible mistakes.
Fellow country star Kellie Pickler was also at Tuesday's game to perform "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch--which she did without any controversy attached.