American singer Eric Burton struck the wrong chord with baseball fans when he missed a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 1 of the World Series in Texas on Friday night.
Burton took to the field at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston as the Astros prepared to face Philadelphia in MLB’s showpiece, players proudly lining up as a giant American flag was unfurled.
But trouble started for the Black Pumas frontman – who is a six-time Grammy nominee – when he sang “diffusion” instead of “shiny” in the second line of the hymn.
Burton, 33, then picked things up properly with the following line – “Whose broad stripes and shining stars cross the perilous fight” – but things went downhill again as he missed the next part of the verse.
instead of singing “O’er the ramparts we watched flowed so gallantly?” Burton repeated “Which we so proudly hailed in the last trickle of twilight.”
Burton at least managed to close the anthem properly, but the singer had already struck a negative note with fans online.
“Eric may have been nominated six times for the Grammy Awards…but that performance didn’t air as gallantly on the ramparts of the Minute Maid,” tweeted politician Steve Womack, a member of the House of Representatives.
“I don’t know who Eric Burton is, but I don’t think he knows what the anthem is either.” joked another Twitter user.
“There’s a reason he’s just one [Grammy] nominated, what an awful performance,” read another dig to the singer.
“Somebody tell Eric Burton to learn the words to the national anthem before singing it before the first game of the World Series”, came a similar beard.
Some attempted to defend Burton, with one comment: “Yeah, he made a mistake. Big deal. He honored the rest very, very well… and sang most of them with strength and beauty.
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Once the game got underway, it proved immensely more entertaining than Burton’s anthem efforts, as the Phillies stunned the home crowd by overturning a five-run deficit to win 6-5 in extra innings. .
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series takes place in Houston on Saturday night.
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