Indy 500 Fans Slam Jewel's Rendition of the National Anthem as They Call It 'Extremely Disrespectful'

Sunday's rendition resembled the style she sang at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Utah, where she was born, in both style and tone.

IndyCar fans gathered in their seats to watch Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Alex Palou on the pole, while racers like Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist gave a tough fight to take home the victory. However, before the racers fired up their engines, the pre-race festivities left some spectators scratching their heads.

The national anthem performed by singer-songwriter Jewel at the Indianapolis 500 may have come off as a little tone-deaf to the audience. The Alaska-born Folk musician, 49, composed a more complex version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" rather than doing a strictly scripted performance, which didn't go down well with IndyCar fans.

Tone-Deaf Rendition

Jewel singling the National Anthem at the Indianapolis 500 Twitter

The four-time Grammy nominee performed a passionate rendition of the more than 200-year-old ballad on a stage as large as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." However, her interpretation of the national anthem left people scratching their heads.

Jewel was selected earlier this month to sing the national anthem. "The singing of the national anthem before the Indy 500 green flag is a signature and iconic moment at the Racing Capital of the World," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said in a news release on May 19.

"For over a century, we've gathered at IMS to salute our nation's military heroes, and the national anthem performance is a tradition that reminds us all of their sacrifice and bravery. Jewel's rendition will be a memorable and moving experience for fans at the track and watching from home on NBC."

Sunday's rendition resembled the style she sang at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Utah, where she was born, in both style and tone.

Some people on social media however took offense to this version of the song, even though it didn't completely deviate from the notes like some other versions had or sound awful.

Jewel looked stylish in a white bodysuit with a white button-up jacket layered over it for the event. She added a beige cowboy hat as an accessory.

Jewel's version of the national anthem was panned by several people on social media Twitter

The singer had her delicate curls falling from her strawberry-toned hair down to her shoulders. However, she changed the song's entirety for a more slower, more soulful performance as she strummed her dark green guitar.

Not Well Accepted

The rendition of the national anthem that was sung generated a lot of reactions on Twitter, with the overall consensus being conflicting. Several Twitter users also expressed their displeasure with the song's sound.

Indy 500
Although the fans cheered Jewel at the venue, they panned her version of 'Star Spangled Banner' on social media Twitter

"She did a great job butchering the National Anthem and even kept her hat on - wow," one person tweeted.

"This is the perfect example of how not to do the national anthem," a second person tweeted.. "It was to the point of being disrespectful."

"You're given the honor of singing the National Anthem at the biggest spectacle in racing, and you decide to rewrite the music? I'm all for being creative and putting your own "personal" touch to it, but that was way too much!" wrote yet another person.

Several people also defended the performance for a variety of reasons.

Jewel Twitter

"I'm a traditionalist who believes that our National Anthem should always be sung in it's [sic] original form. However, the rendition that @jeweljk delivered was unique and sounded nice. However, @jeweljk's performance was original and pleasant to hear," wrote one person, who felt the performance was "out of place."

"Hmm I was expecting to hate it hearing the uproar. I thought it was a nice arrangement and fit her style. Personally, I've never really cared for her or her voice," wrote another Twitter user.