WASHINGTON - President Bush says the national anthem should only be sung in English, but he was apparently singing a different tune during his first run for President and at his inaugural festivities. On the campaign trail in 1999, Bush would often sing along as the national anthem was sung in Spanish during stops in Hispanic communities, GOP scholar Kevin Phillips wrote in his book "American Dynasty." After Bush was elected, Cuban exile and pop vocalist Jon Secada also sang the "The Star-Spangled Banner" in both English and Spanish at the 2001 opening ceremony of the presidential inaugural, according to media reports at the time. The White House had no immediate comment, claiming it was unaware of the reports of those instances, which Democrats and their allies eagerly shared with reporters. Bush and Secada sang the actual national anthem in Spanish, and not the new song with different lyrics and music that has angered many Englishspeaking Americans. Nonetheless, Bush still appeared to have amnesia when he suggested last week that the "The Star-Spangled Banner" is an English-only tune. "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English," Bush said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rangers bring back John Amirante to sing national anthem before Game 5 vs. Lightning

John Amirante was welcomed back to Madison Square Garden on Sunday night with thunderous cheers before singing the national anthem for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. “I’m happy to be back, are you kidding?” Amirante told the Daily News hours before he stood at the microphone. “It’s taking me back to 1994.” It was as if the 80-year-old had never left his usual post, as the anthem went off without a hitch and Amirante finished with an encouraging wave for the fans before the puck dropped between the Rangers and Lightning. Amirante hadn't sung the anthem since April 18, which was Game 2 of the first round against Pittsburgh, which was thought that day to be his final time singing the anthem. Amirante told Cablevision-owned Newsday last month that he was told before the season he'd only sing four games total - regular season and postseason combined. He expressed displeasure to the newspaper regarding the handling of his final season singing the anthem, which he had done at Rangers game for 35 years. He "wanted to retire with some dignity," the revered anthem singer told Newsday at the time. After the negative fan reaction, the Garden said the following day that Amirante would be invited to be a guest anthem singer from time-to-time and Amirante accepted. Hours before singing once again on Sunday, Amirante said the fan support is part of the reason he came back. “Definitely, I think so,” Amirante said. “It means a whole lot. What can I say? I can’t put it into words. They come up to me and say they love me.” Though he wouldn’t commit to potentially singing for a Game 7 or for the Stanley Cup Final should the Rangers get that far, Amirante hoped this wasn’t his grand finale. “Whenever they want me,” he said. “I’ll come back.”  NUTS AND BOLTS Head coach Jon Cooper admitted that there were some unusual Continue Reading

Jamie Foxx’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ whiff at Mayweather-Pacquiao fight joins list of national anthem disgraces

Jamie Foxx' performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight Saturday night fell far short of a knockout. But the actor and Oscar-winner isn't the first to take a few lumps after a poor rendition of the song. Several other "Banner"-belters have drawn jeers for tanking the tune on the big stage, including Staind's Aaron Lewis, who knocked it foul at the World Series last year; folk legend James Taylor; Christina Aguilera; Michael Bolton; and Roseanne Barr. In a salute to Foxx's effort, Daily News editors have compiled a list of some of our favorite "Star-Spangled" screw-ups, in no specific order. Aaron Lewis, former lead singer of rock band Staind, stunk it up before Game 5 of the World Series last year between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals at the Giants' AT&T Park. During the performance, Lewis, who is now a solo country singer, dropped the line "at the twilight's last gleaming," instead singing, "were so gallantly streaming." Afterward, the humbled frontman apologized for the error, blaming it on a case of shaky nerves. Christina Aguilera flubbed the anthem's lyrics while performing at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas in 2011, warbling, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last reaming," instead of, "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming." Singing at the 2003 ALCS at Fenway Park in Boston, power balladeer Michael Bolton was doing just fine until he forgot the words halfway through — and had to rely on crib notes tucked in his hand. Jump to 0:45 to catch the singer sneak a peek. At Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway last year, James Taylor started to sing "America the Beautiful" before catching himself and Continue Reading

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry walks out to pro-gun anthem with rap lyrics changed to promote his campaign

Rick Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign kickoff was a little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll - and a little bit rap. The former Texas governor strode to the podium to the beat of “Answer to No One,” a thumping keep-your-hands-off-my-guns anthem that had its rap lyrics mildly changed up to promote Perry: “Shotgun toter/Republican voter/Rick Perry supporter/Let’s protect our border/To hell with anyone who don’t believe in the U.S.A. ... Rick Perry all the way.” To fit the bill, some of the song’s lyrics apparently needed no modification at all from the 2012 original recorded by Colt Ford and featuring a down-home hook by JJ Lawhorn. “I won't back up/I don't back down/I've been raised up to stand my ground/Take my job but not my guns/Tax my check till I ain't got none/Except for the good Lord up above ... I answer to no one.” The fans gathered in an airport hangar near Dallas for the start of Perry’s second presidential bid got a fiddle solo and one more rap verse before the start of the stump speech. “Give me my right to vote/My right to tote the weapon of my choice/Don't censor my voice/Hate me if you want or love me if you can/If the truth is what you want, then you found your man...” And then Perry was off to the races. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE, WHICH HAS THE RAP STARTING AT 4:26. Continue Reading

Minnie Driver admits flubbing national anthem at Dodgers game: ‘I’m an imperfect human being’

It wasn't exactly a high note. Minnie Driver warbled "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Los Angeles Dodgers game Saturday night, making two major flubs. With her young son Henry standing by her side, Driver, who's British, began her rendition of the U.S. national anthem correctly with: "O say can you see, by the dawn's early light." RELATED: THE WORST CELEBRITY NATIONAL ANTHEMS OF ALL TIME But in the line "What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming," she replaced "proudly" with what sounded like "prided" — despite having the words projected on the jumbo screen at Dodger Stadium. The 45-year-old "Circle of Friends" star made it through the next few lines error-free, but hit a rough patch during the line, "O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming." She confessed on Twitter later to accidentally subbing the word "watched" with "hailed." "I'm an imperfect human being. I think that's OK," she tweeted. Despite the vocal errors, the crowd erupted in applause after she finished, and went on to watch the Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0. Driver is best known for "Good Will Hunting," which scored her an Oscar nomination, and recently canceled series "About a Boy." She's not the only celeb to botch the notoriously difficult song. Among the other offenders: "American Idol" champ Scotty McCreery messed it up for a 2011 World Series Game; Cyndi Lauper butchered it at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at a U.S. Open game; and Christina Aguilera infamously mangled it at Super Bowl XLV. Jamie Foxx took in on the chin for his excessively soulful version before the recent Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout. Roseanne Barr also turned in a rendition famed for her crotch-grabbing, which caused a media firestorm before a 1990 San Diego Padres game, but later said it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Justin Bieber turns 21: Pop star dances shirtless to 50 Cent’s birthday anthem ‘In Da Club,’ cuddles with model Yovanna Ventura

It’s official! Justin Bieber is 21. “New birthday shot inside,” the pop star tweeted Saturday. “Grateful to be alive!!! Love u!!! 21.” The Biebs celebrated his big 2-1 on a private Caribbean island near Grenada that he rented, reports TMZ. He share a video clipfrom his celebration, which showed him dancing to 50 Cent’s birthday anthem “In Da Club.” As the “Love Me” singer grooved shirtless to Fiddy’s classic hit, he held a bottle of champagne as party guests surrounded him with sparklers. Partygoers included Hailey Baldwin and Bieber's rumored lady, model Yovanna Ventura. One snapshot the brunette beauty posted on Instagram from the pop star's birthday bash shows her standing close to him as he grabs her thigh wrapped around his waist. Bieber’s actual birthday is March 1, but he started his celebration early when his pals, John and Sammy Shahidi, surprised him with a ’65 Lincoln Continental on Thursday, reports TMZ. The “Beauty and the Beat” singer was reportedly in a studio in Los Angeles on Thursday night when his boys surprised him with the restored classic. He later posted a black and white Instagram photo of him driving his birthday gift. Bieber recently enjoyed another friend’s birthday celebration on Feb. 17. “Happy Birthday Ed!” he captioned a photo of him with Ed Sheeran, who turned 24, and two other pals. But this weekend the spotlight is on JB as he rings in a staple year in his young existence. “I love everyone! #21,” he tweeted Saturday. The “As Long As You Love Me” crooner may not be singing everyone’s praise on March 30 when he will be the focus on the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.” ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Maya Rudolph channels Beyoncé while singing national anthem at Tulane University graduation

Maya Rudolph gave Tulane University graduates something they'll surely never forget. The comedian capped her commencement speech to the class of 2015 in New Orleans on Saturday with a unique rendition of the national anthem. Rudolph, who gives a mean Beyoncé  impersonation, tapped into the diva within to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" with riffs and high notes and a whole lot of emotion. Maya Rudolph does a mean Beyoncé impersonation and channeled the musical diva at the Tulane graduation Saturday. She even incorporated snippets of Queen Bey's "Single Ladies" and "Drunk in Love" as well as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" to the delight of the audience, who could be heard cheering and laughing throughout Rudolph's performance. "B to the R to the A to the V to the E," she sang loudly before giving a final roaring, "BRAVE!" ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

WATCH: Dallas children sing national anthem in fan aisle in Walmart

They are big fans of the national anthem. A group of children were captured displaying their patriotism in the fan aisle at a Dallas Walmart in a touching online video. Mark Ammann told the Daily News he walked inside the retail store Tuesday and started to hear the national anthem being sung by loud young voices. "I thought, 'What is that?'" he said. "I walked a few aisles over and saw the kids singing with their backs to me and decided, 'I have got to get that (on video).'" The kids were having fun hearing the fans vibrate their voices and laughed when they spotted Ammann filming them. The 57-year-old Farmers Branch, Tex., resident said he applauded them when they finished and was impressed at their choice of song. "There is a lot of negative publicity today with kids. But they could have been singing a rap song or anything else," he said. "The fact they were singing the national anthem made my heart sing." Ammann said he didn't know the kids, but decided to post it on Facebook and YouTube so others could also be touched by it. "I think we could use more sharing of stuff like this that a lot of the other junk I see posted lately. Enjoy!" he wrote on his Facebook page. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jamie Foxx receives criticism for performance of national anthem during Mayweather- Pacquiao fight

Many fans found Jamie Foxx's performance during the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight less than a knock-out on Saturday night. The actor, 47, sang the national anthem during the much anticipated fight, leaving many less than impressed with his version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." RELATED: JAMIE FOXX JOINS 'STAR'-CROSSED CLUB WITH ANTHEM FLUB "The real fight was between Jamie Foxx and the national anthem," Twitter user Tommy Ross wrote about his performance. Fight fans were not only unmoved with Foxx’s vocals, many shared their distaste for his “remix” of the song's melody. Continue Reading

Jamie Foxx to sing national anthem at Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight: report

Jamie Foxx is getting set to step into the boxing ring, and this time it isn't for a movie. The "Annie" actor will reportedly sing the national anthem at the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, a source tells TMZ. Foxx, who's been cast to play Mike Tyson in an upcoming biopic, jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the showdown, the report says. The comedian gave a memorable performance of "America the Beautiful" at a Pacquiao fight in 2011. Foxx isn't the only star who seems to be excited about the upcoming fight. Khloe Kardashian posted a video on her Instagram talking about the fight along with other stars including Shaquille O'Neal, Adriana Lima and Sean Combs. The fight is set to air May 2 on Pay-Per-View. Continue Reading