Luke Bryan Reads National Anthem Words Off Hand at All Star Game

July 10, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  50 Comments

Pop country’s official pretty boy Luke Bryan got caught red handed Tuesday night (7-10-12) at the Major League All-Star Game gaining advantage from a substance applied on his hand like Gaylord Perry dressing a spitball. Yes, Luke Bryan had plenty of time for multiple applications of his chemical tan and to have a team of dwarves squeeze him into his designer skinny jeans, but couldn’t be bothered to actually memorize the words to our National Anthem.

As he stood in the middle of Kauffman Stadium, holding the microphone in a very curious, gingerly manner, he could clearly be witnessed receiving aid from words written on his southpaw. Some theorists have surmised that he was actually checking his watch to time the song’s climax with the stealth bomber flyover, but both times when he peers towards his hand he clearly turns the face of his watch away from him (the direction of the face and buckle of the watch are clearly visible). So yeah, this theory is a slow dribbler that rolls foul. And if his intention was to time the song with the flyover just right, he whiffed here too because the bomber clearly flew over before the song was over.

Aside from not knowing the words to a song most third graders could scratch out with their Husky pencils by heart, his performance was actually next to flawless. But once again when country is given the opportunity to showcase itself on a national scale, to a national audience, it strikes out.


Luke Bryan through his Twitter account admitted writing down a “few key words” on his hand and apologized to anyone offended.

Morning everyone. I really wanna explain the national anthem performance from last night…I had a few keys words written down to insure myself that I wouldn’t mess up. 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…I did check my watch because I knew the stealth bomber would fly over 2 minutes in and I knew a started a little late…Being a part of the all star game was amazing and I look forward to the next time I can perform the anthem. Thanks y’all. Love ya.


50 Comments to “Luke Bryan Reads National Anthem Words Off Hand at All Star Game”

  • Why were the military were holding a massive American flag horizontal to the ground? Was it because the stealth bomber driver hadn’t google-mapped directions to the stadium and needed a landmark? I was half expecting Elvis to drop out of the sky and land on it. That would have been awesome.

    • If I remember correctly from my Boy Scout days, skydiving Elvis’s using Old Glory as a trampoline is considered desecration.

    • For me seeing the American flag being displayed like that especially while our National Anthem is being sung is an awesome sight and gives me chills everytime I see it.. But hey.. Thats just me..

  • let us not forget that next door to Kauffman Stadium, at arrowhead, is where Mike Eli butchered the national anthem into oblivion just a couple years ago, also before a flyover if I remember correctly.

  • I caught this last night, too! I told me wife he was reading the national anthem off his hand. The only thing that leaves me with some doubt is: how the hell do you fit the national anthem on the side of you hand? It is a long ass song.

    Another thing I’m embarrassed to have caught: his Crossroads performance with the Doobie Brothers (which I believe is old). The Doobies outclass him musically in every way imaginable. Can’t even keep up with yacht rockers!

    • I don’t think he had the whole thing written down, just a couple of phrases he maybe was having difficulty with in practice.

      He looks down right before:

      “At The twilight’s last gleaming”


      “Through the perilous fight”

      • Here’s Luke singing the anthem at a Titans game. It starts at about 1:50. I think he might look down right before “What so proudly we hail.” Seems like some editing might have been done at the point, too. Then, he may look down before “gleaming”, too.


        On positive note for Luke, here’s another time when he sing the anthem at a Titans game. We only see the first and last line of the anthem,but at about 3:00, we see him catch a punt from the Titans punter and throw the football, well, like a man. About 20 yards. Maybe they should have had him throw out the first pitch instead.


  • Big A that’s nothing.I still have the taste of puke in my mouth after seeing him and Hunter Hayes on stage with Joe Walsh on Crossroads.

    As far as the Anthem goes, at least looking down at his arm stopped him from jumping around screaming “GET YER HANDS IN THE AIR”!

    • Glad I missed that one. Hunter Hayes is interesting. My wife likes his song “Storm Warning.” I didn’t believe her that it wasn’t by Rascal Flatts since it sounds EXACTLY like them. Anyway, then I started thinking about the name and I KNEW I recognized it from somewhere. Turns out he is the very same little kid that played accordion with Bocephus on Jambalaya in a very popular youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57sfRo26fAc).

      This made me very sad. Here we have a kid that people on here would brag about. Plays multiple instruments, covers Hank songs, respects the roots, writes his own music. THEN he is exposed to the pop culture Country juggernaut and, instead of saving country music, he turns into Gary F’N Levox. Very depressing.

  • Since when did “Good Ole Boys” start wearing skinny jeans and fake tans? Hank is rolling in his grave!

    • The dude’s fake tan is so thick, he’s got monkey hands, where the inside of his palms glow.

  • i’m sorry i missed that special moment in pop country music history. maybe next year major league baseball can get mike tyson to sing the anthem.

  • “his performance was actually next to flawless.”

    Nope. He was flat a couple of times.

    • Look, I’ve been pretty harsh on this dude, here and other places. The least I can do is give him credit for delivering a pretty good performance, despite assistance from a visual aid. Perfect? No. But not bad. Certainly heard worse.

  • Pop Country and Major League Baseball.
    Two great sucks that suck together.

    I guess having cues on your hand is better than fucking it all up though.
    Whatever, I’ve never heard a Luke Bryan song or watched an MLB game.

    • then why are you even commenting…?

  • Can’t listen and baseball does not suck. Families can still afford to go to baseball games and kids understand it and play it and the leagues keep it clean.

    • Families can afford $40 a ticket? $8 hotdogs? $8 dollar beers? And god forbid you actually look at a price tag in the merchandise store!

      • Hi Onto,
        We are fortunate to have many Minor League teams in our area. The Tincaps in Ft. Wayne and my son worked for the Great Lakes Loons in Michigan. They are very family friendly and you can buy lawn seats for $5. I agree that the gift shop stuff is expensive but overall, it’s not too bad. Even Major league baseball is much less expensive than football or basketball.

        • Autopsy IV lives in Tampa, home of Tropicana Field, otherwise known as the toilet bowl of baseball, so I can understand his disdain for the MLB experience.

          • Lol, the who? He has my sympathies then. I have my moments too being a die-hard Tiger fan, but I was there when they won the 1984 World Series and it’s in my blood. I won a radio contest at age 8 for my first trip to Detroit to see them!!

        • Closest we got is to go to the twin cities for a twinkies or t-wolves game…

          • Haha, we lived a few hours from Detroit and I had to beg and plead with my parents (and save my money) to go to the “big” city, which might just as well have been the moon to them! I took my kids to the old Tiger stadium before they tore it down, a sad day indeed.

      • Why are you paying $40/each for tickets? Most parks, including Yankee stadium, have many seats for under $25/ticket. And then you can stroll around the park anywhere you want, even lower level between the bases.

        Pro sports are going to cost you some, but I think the point is, that even at $40/ticket where you are going, it is a lot less than a NFL, NBA, NHL ticket.

        And beer costs… don’t buy beer. Not to mention most parks let you bring in snacks.

        • Ha. That’s what I paid to see the twins in the cities and in Kansas city

  • The crossroads thing with Joe Walsh was truly awful as was the one with the Doobie Brothers. The should let Reckless Kelly sing the anthem they do a stellar job when the do it for the Austin minor leauge team and they actually deserve national exposure seeing as how they have actual talent unlike Luke poser boy Bryan.

  • The whole skinny jeans and fake tan thing just reaffirms my suspicions that Luke Bryan is definitely ‘batting for the other team’

  • The issue is not as much that he needed assistance memorizing the words. I’m sure he was nervous, and singing The National Anthem to a national audience takes guts. My biggest beef is that he was clearly trying to hid it from us, and assumed that we were all idiots and wouldn’t notice him peering down at his palm. If he’s not up to the task, find someone who is. This was all about the cross-marketing that has pervaded our culture where everything is about money, including our National Anthem. As soon as Luke Bryan finished singing, Amazon was offering his latest CD at a discount. It was all about driving Luke Bryan sales. How about making sure The National Anthem is sung with honor and reverence first, and then worry about it as a vehicle to help promote a performer.

    • “” How about making sure The National Anthem is sung with honor and reverence first, and then worry about it as a vehicle to help promote a performer.””

      My sentiments exactly. My singer daughter sang it at a baseball stadium and she said there is also a few seconds delay so it’s distracting and you really have to concentrate. However, she sang it beautifully and knew all the words. Any singer who has the opportunity to sing the National Anthem should consider it an honor and bust their butt to do it right or don’t do it. My favorites really are Sandy Patti and Josh Groban who knows how to do it right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r3BOK_nnsg&feature=related

  • Good on Luke Bryan for actually admitting it and apologizing for it. Most performers would have just tried to sweep it under the rug.

    • i suppose apologizing is fine. though i’d feel better about his merchandizing minute if he’d have just carried a damn cheat sheet out there with him. much more up front. no i won’t be buying any of his music or spray tan when it hits my local drug stores.

    • Now if he’d only apologize for those skinny jeans…

  • Just one more thought, other than Luke Bryan I thought the performances were pretty good. Zac Brown band played before the Homerun Derby on both the MLB Network and on ESPN and Kelly Pickler did a good rendition of God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch.

    Not ideal, but a big step up from Jason Aldean and Michelle Branch, who did those duties last year.

  • Triggerman I agree, gotta give him credit for admitting he did it and apologizing for it most would have swept under the rug for sure. He does need to tone down the spray tan a notch it is looking fairly freakish at best.

  • What’s up with all country “music” associated with the All-Star Game this year? Despite what “coasters” might believe, Kansas City is not a country-mecca. My ears are still bleeding from that awful “music” from the Zac Brown band. Anything that associates that kind of garbage with KC doesn’t really know KC.

  • im not a singer but ive read many singers bitch about what a tough song it is to sing so i cant blame the guy for using a safety net on such a big event. im just VERY grateful i didnt have to sit through yet another christina aguilera type of vocal acrobatics.

  • I don’t blame him for the cheatsheet. I’m sure he was nervous knowing he was using it and he probably watched the playback and thought “shit, I better explain myself”.
    I think he wanted to get it right rather than miss it. Everyone can talk how they would memorize it, or their kid nailed it somewhere or some other artist nailed it, but it is case by case.

    I think anyone would do what they had to do to get it right. There are countless top performers that have messed it up, or have used some type of “help”, not to mention the flawless performances that we may not know what “help” they had.
    ** I would say to those on this blog, write the lyrics out, word for word. Compare to the actual song… are you 100% on? Probably not. You may know the “sound” of the song and lyrics, but can you actually spell them out. If you’re on that big stage and miss one, your fucked, so enter the cheatsheet.

    It is kind of like ordering food at a restaurant. I’m not impressed when the waiter takes my order and writes nothing down and then the wrong thing comes out. Write it down, get it right, and that is a job well done.

    Also, Trigger, don’t act like you are upset at the commercialism of an event like this. Come on. The game is about marketing baseball, and the ripple effect of that is every other product/company getting on board too. There is money behind all this, if you aren’t into that, then you probably should not follow anything “professional” cause that is why it is called professional…there is money tied to it.

    • Oh, the problems of a rich white boy. . . .

      • Woopsy daisy! That wasn’t supposed to be a reply to your comment Ice. Reckon I clicked the wrong clicker.

  • honestly, i wouldn’t have even been able to get up there and do it in front of all those people.

    he used a cheat sheet and admitted it. he has way more guts than i would in his place.

    lastly, i still think he’s a good singer. yeah, it could’ve been better, but almost anything can always be better. example, the AL could’ve scored at least one run…

  • If put on the spot right this second, I bet I couldn’t recite the lyrics properly. So on one hand, I shouldn’t make fun of him for having a cheat sheet.

    But then again… if my boss asked me to do a presentation in front of thousands of people, you better believe I’d prepare and know my subject well before getting up and making a fool of myself. So looking at it as a professional obligation then yea, it’s pretty sad that he wasn’t better prepared. Kids that are 9, 10 and 11 are singing the NA at minor league games and they know the words. How about doing a little homework for your assignment, Lukey boy?

  • This is just an example of people trying to find things wrong to point out about an artist just because they dont like him. What the heck is wrong with a cheat sheet? I think that shows more respect than not having one and messing up. All these people are soo quick to jump on him. But im sure if they were important enough to be asked to do the same they would get nervous too. So I applaud his efforts to get it right. And whether you like his music or not he is a very good man from a family of great God fearing people. And i know this because im from his hometown of Leesburg, Ga. If you dont like his music thats perfectly fine, but you’ve gone passed the point of being critics to just trying to find things to whine about.

    • x2

      I don’t know the guy, but he def seems to be a all around great person. This site is usually spot on, but come on back off the guy.

      • I can’t fault him for wanting to make sure he got the lyrics right. What I can fault him for is trying to hide it in such a ridiculous manner that everyone could see. Basically it was an insult to the intelligence; a lie. Luke Bryan needs a cheat sheet for the National Anthem? That’s fine. I know it’s easy to sit back and criticize something that no doubt would make anyone very nervous to do, and put even the most talented people under a lot of pressure. But that is the point of The National Anthem. It is supposed to be an inspiring performance, where someone rises to the occasion and makes the best of the big stage. If Luke Bryan needs a cheat sheet, then maybe he is not the best person to ask.

        As I said in a comment above, I commend Luke for coming out and being honest about it. And in some ways, I do feel bad for criticizing him in this context. However basically by trying to hide the fact that he needed a cheat sheet, he was lying to us. You want the big stage? Then you’re going to be held to a high bar because so many others can do it much better.

        • I watched the game with about 10 friends at a sports bar with hundreds of people. We all watched the national anthem on a giant projection screen and not one person noticed it. Nor did I happen to see anyone. Watching the youtube video knowing that he was looking at his hand it seems obvious. But I probably would have watched it 10 times and it wouldn’t have occurred to me.

          What ninja way would you have had him use a cheat sheet? Wear glasses that secretly projected the words in front of him? Get a teleprompter?

          I do not know every single word to the star spangled banner, and I challenge anyone who thinks they do to write them out without looking it up. I’m sure if I had to sing it, I could figure it out, but a lot of people never use words like gallantly, perilous, or gleaming outside the context of this song, and so maybe he needed a reminder.

          P.S. I can’t stand Luke Bryant’s music, but I agree with everyone who says you are just finding reason to fault someone who you don’t like for other reasons.

  • I can’t believe he didn’t even know the lyrics. Even I know the lyrics! No, I don’t really. But seriously, how could he not know the lyrics? Is he Canadian? Maybe he’s dyslexic.

  • I too enjoy reading this site even though im a huge main stream country fan. But its getting seriously to the point in alotve articles where it seems these “critics” are just trying to find things to cry about because they dont like certain artists. You dont have to like main stream country, but keep the critiques about music and not immaturely making fun of people you dont like. We all have something in common and that is that we love music. Just live and let live and realize there is more out there than just your preference in music.

    • Look man, I still think what he did was deceptive. It’s not the cheat sheet, it’s trying to hide it. And I try to not let Kellie Pickler’s or anyone elses opinion sway mine. But I’ve moved on. I’m not harping on the subject. There’s no twisting of knives coming from here. This article was posted 5 days ago. Luke Bryan admitted to it and apologized, and I accept that apology and give him great credit for being a stand up guy for not trying to sweep the issue under the rug and handling it right out in the open. It’s over. Let’s shake hands and move on.

      • I understand and thats fine. Im saying youve got a good site here that is actually fun to read. Just keep it about the music and not about personal shots at people you dont like. Other than personal attacks on people its a very entertaining website.

Leave a comment

Del Maguey
Old Soul Radio Show
Hillgrass Bluebilly
Best Of Lists