Musician apologizes for ‘absolutely horrific’ national anthem at Utah Demolition Derby

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — A Utah woman has taken to Facebook to offer up an apology for her rendition of the national anthem at a demolition derby after video of the performance amassed more than 100,000 views.

The YouTube video shows Jennie Lea singing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Summit County Fair’s demolition derby Saturday, according to KSTU, and some in the crowd do not seem thrilled with the artist’s take on the song.

Summit County officials issued an apology for the performance Tuesday, saying they will be re-evaluating their procedures for hiring talent. The county said they received feedback about the performance on social media as well as via emails and phone calls.

The musician also posted on Facebook Tuesday, acknowledging the spread of the video online and apologizing for her performance, which she said sounded “absolutely horrific, terrifying, disgusting & disgraceful.”

Lea said she wants to move forward and make things right, and added that she didn’t mean any disrespect toward the anthem or her country.

“I just want to be clear that my intentions were not to be disrespectful towards our country or our national anthem and most importantly not to harm or hurt anyone at all,” Lea stated.

Lea said she grew up in the area and was honored to be asked to sing, but it was the first time she had performed in an arena for such a large crowd. She added that there were unforeseen issues with the speaker system and the rendition of the song she chose.

“When I began singing, without 1st getting a soundcheck, the speaker system was delayed & echoed through the arena,” Lea writes. “I instantly regretted the rendition I chose. I wanted a slower, more sultry one that I thought would fit my unique voice best. It was slow, terrible, and VERY VERY EMBARRASSING! I myself didn’t even want to continue.”

Lea said she feels stronger as a result of this experience, which she described as being “ridiculed for being ‘hammered,’ thrown to the wolves & under the bus.”

“All I can say is that I tried my best and beyond words, without a doubt, I failed,” she wrote. “I am still devastated, but as things move forward, so does learning & growing.”

The full post from Lea is available below.