Steven Tyler turned in a beautiful rendition of the national anthem before Sunday's AFC Championship between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens -- that's "beautiful," the word that lost all meaning last year when Tyler used it to describe pretty much every "American Idol" performance, good or bad.
And Tyler's rendition of our anthem definitely qualifies as the latter.
It may not have been the worst version ever (although I'll leave that up to you to decide), but we're talking about a legendary singer who is now paid to judge other people's singing abilities. It should have been amazing.
Instead, it was weird and screechy. Obviously, it's a tricky song to sing, but Tyler is known for hitting crazy notes -- something he never hesitates to do at every opportunity on "Idol". He really only attempted one Aerosmith-esque note at the very end -- and failed miserably.
As for the worst anthem performances ever? Well, of course, there's obvious choices of Carl Lewis and Roseanne Barr, although we should probably keep in mind that neither of them are professional singers (and one of them is paid to make people laugh).
Christina Aguilera, another professional singer who is also a judge on a singing competition show, is another worthy candidate for cursing her hometown Pittsburgh Steelers with her bizarre performance at last year's Super Bowl. So are Michael Bolton, who was probably distracted by the worst echo I've ever heard and had to look at his hand for the lyrics, and Creed's Scott Stapp, who, well, just sounds like Scott Stapp.
I decided to limit the poll to celebrities, although you can feel free to write in any otherwise unknown YouTube sensation who has done really strange things to our nation's song. One thing to keep in mind while voting -- Tyler is the only candidate who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun