Steven Tyler Ripped For National Anthem Performance

FOXBORO (CBS) — Aerosmith lead singer and American Idol judge Steven Tyler isn’t getting much praise for his performance of the National Anthem at the AFC Championship game on Sunday.

The Gillette Stadium crowd roared after he was done, but some online reviews weren’t as sparkling as the Patriots scarf he wore to the game.

Deadspin called it one of the worst anthems of all time.

Radar Online said he got all the words right and that’s about it.

Several others complained on Twitter, including one person who said it sounded like someone putting “a raccoon out of its misery.”

A New England Patriots fan, the 63-year-old Aerosmith frontman warbled “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the New England Patriots played the Baltimore Ravens. He missed the high note and butchered some of the lyrics (“oh the land of the free”). Heckling began before his performance ended.

On Twitter, it’s being described with terms like screech and mangle.’s “American Idol” blogger, Chris Matyszczyk, described it like this: “It was that Steven Tyler had sung the national anthem at the AFC Championship game in a manner that might have frightened the Alien back into John Hurt’s intestines.”

Some defended the performance, saying it was only what could be expected. “I knew ‘the scream’ was coming!,” tweeted country singer Jason Michael Carroll.

What did you think?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • FireGuyFrank

    Tyler is not Placido Domingo. Tyler does hard rock and sang the anthem the way he sings. If you wanted something different, that’s okay. Personally, I could find fault (if I wanted to) with Kristin Chenowyth’s performance in San Francisco.

    • Lucky

      I thought it was fine, lighten up America.

      Jay Z is up next…..

    • michael

      It sucked…plain and simple. His voice is terrible and he had no business being out there singing out national anthem. he looked like a total jackass out there.

    • Larry LaRousse

      It was the worse performance since Roseanne Barr .Fortunately for Tyler i dont believe anyone could be worse there her.

      • JT

        Larry, are you from another country or something? Your grammar sucks!

      • TomB

        I suppose you would have preferred someone like Christina Aguilera yodeling her way through it? First time in a while at a major sporting event that I didn’t cringe at least once like someone had scratched a blackboard. He wasn’t the best, but there have been thousands of worse anthems and thousands of better anthems.

      • Jim Dea

        Larry, if your French is as bad as your English, try Chinese!!!

    • Rocky

      I was there, he did a great job!

      • Jsmith

        I agree. I wasn’t there, and despite his singing not being the best, it was the best I’ve heard all season — or during baseball season, too.

      • Rick

        He sucked

      • J Michael

        Just how plastered were you before the tailgate party ended?

    • Karla

      I agree. If you hire a rocker to do the job, you are going to get a rocker. He sang the anthem the way he always sings and I love him and his performance!

      • RagnarB

        100% agree. AND so did the crowd at the game. They all dug it.

      • Mike

        Karla, so wrong! Then get a rocker that can sing, Steven is waaay past the age of retirement, ANYONE that has the honor and privilege to sing the national anthem needs to make sure they have the ABILITY to do a good enough job to honor it, and our proud and wonderful country. Sorry, his performance was HORRIBLE!

      • SunnyJ

        I’m in my 60’s and as conservative as they come…I loved it…it was Aerosmith straight up…when Uncle Ted Nugent plays it on his guitar it’s the same…love it.

      • Eric Hanner

        I agree completely. Great job sung the way he sings.

      • tubaman

        he sucked!!!!!!!!!

    • Bryan Eddy


    • TheAcaciaStrain

      Hard rock?? hahahahaha you wouldn’t know hard rock if it ripped out your insides and fed them to you. Steven Tyler is about as “hard rock” as a box of Sunmaid raisins. Get the eff out of here with that.

      • Casper

        Excuse me Mr. Stain, your juvenile ‘complaint’ concerning a ridiculous topic explains why you live in one of the most God-forsaken spots on earth. You can recue your April Wine record now.

    • Bella

      Why would anyone complain about Stephen Tyler singing the anthem as Stephen Tyler would. He isn’t Michael Buble” or Placido Domingo. I said the same thing when Roseane did her thing. Why would anyone ask someone to do something like that and then complain when they are themselves. Now, I do have a problem with Christina forgetting the words. That was despicable.

      • lewr2

        I was never asked if I WANTED Steve Tyler to sing the banner. It’s all about ratings and Idol. I love Aerosmith, been to concert, had their albums, etc..etc..etc…

        HE should NEVER sing a national anthem again on tv. He wants to sing it in his shower, go for it.

    • Weird Al

      The NFL tries too hard to be hip and cool. Who exactly are they trying to attract with Steven Tyler, Madonna or the Rolling “Bones”? Stop with the hype and trying to be “Hollywood” and just play football.

      • Scudbuster

        Can’t wait until the Super Bowl halftime show!

        So I can turn the channel for 20 minutes, or at least hit the mute button.

      • lewr2

        Excellent Al. That’s exactly what they’re doing. That was the worse performance period. That includes Roseanne Barr because she purposely did what she did. He didn’t. Find some high school chorus singer to sing it.

        The fact is… don’t ask ‘superstars’ to scream the banner. Ask people who can actually SING to sing the banner. It’s a disgrace to America. And, I’m a Aerosmith fan.

      • Seriously?!

        Autotune the NEWS???!!!
        NO! Autotune the ANTHEM!!!

        PS. IF you want a PATRIOT to sing it, ask Ron Paul.

  • gramps

    Kristin Chenoweth = Music

    Steven Tyler = ‘NOISE’!


    • MedicineBowCO

      I think Tyler did great. I am sick of performers who forget the words and those who go up and down the scales so that the basic tune is nearly lost in their displays of their hubris. Just give me the song; no B.S. from the performer. Tyler’s was a refreshingly simple rendition of a beautiful momentous occasion that warrants attention to itself; not some performer who wants us to admire them.

      • Scott

        He screwed up a couple of words too.

    • P MCEVOY

      YOU ARE 100% CORRECT

    • P3

      I think Billy Cundiff may have preferred Kristen

      • Jay

        Lay off the poor guy. I’m a Ravens fan and I’m sure Cundiff feels bad enough.

    • Russ in OR

      Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) 150 MILLION album sales worldwide.

      Kristen Chenowith: WHO?

      • Bob

        All that means,Russ,is that a whole lot of people enjoy rock singer mediocrity over classically trained talent. Aerosmith appeals to people who mostly don’t have a trained ear. Chenowith sang perfectly in key and with obvious training. Tyler doesn’t even do that on some of his recorded albums. I love Aerosmith, But Gramps is exactly right – he’s more noise than music. If that’s what sells 150 million albums worldwide, fine. But it doesn’t mean he’s more talented. Look at Britney Spears. HORRIBLE singer. Lots of albums. Reflection on what most people really value in show business – looks and raunchiness over actual talent. BTW, Chenowyth has won 2 Emmys and has a pretty impressive resume.

      • Greg


        No offense pal, but your response shows your own lack of true musical talent and understanding. Steven Tyler, although not one of my favorites (not even close), is a an extremely talented singer. Tyler is known for singing his own harmony vocals on many of Aerosmith records. He sings harmonies in 3rds, 5ths, 7ths, and 9ths just to name a few. This demonstrates an understanding of music and pitch that far exceeds most popular music singers. To call him a horrible singer is erroneous. Musical preference is a matter of taste. Just like any other art form. Your taste of what is “good” or “bad” is only applicable to you. Also note that Steven Tyler has performed with numerous other artists, including a vocal performance on contemporary jazz recording/performing artist Chris Botti’s “Live in Boston” CD/video. It takes a talented singer to be able to hold their own in the jazz world. Mr Tyler isn’t your ordinary rocker.

      • suzette

        Yeah I get that he has the album sales. I just thought he had a better voice than what we heard at the game.

      • Joseph D. Shiller

        The only purpose of this post is garner internet traffic off the key words “Steven Tyler” Actually I am surprised, they left out a football reference in the title. Of course he was not perfect, but there are not many who can sing that tune perfectly. I liked the emotion he put into it, That’s the talent, and what one should be appreciating. It brought a tear to my eye.

      • lewr2

        Kim Kardashian multiple millions of dollars…. so what. he can’t sing. I wouldn’t want Springsteen to do it either.

      • Otto Zeit

        @Russ in OR —
        So . . . the VoxPop speaks, and says it prefers noise to music. Actually, I figured that one out a while ago, but thanks for the statement of public confirmation.

      • ThE ARBITER

        Actually it just means that SATAN, the driving force behind Aerosmith, was amplifying their effect in that bowl full of mush you call a brain! See the documentary called “They Sold Their Souls For Rock and Roll” you can get it on google video for free or watch sections on Youtube. It will be an eye opening experience as it is the artists themselves that admit their satanism!

      • Scott


      • Sans

        Record Sales are an economic indicator, not a talent indicator.

    • JC

      Both are “noise” neither are “music”

    • Bella

      But, they got what they asked for.

    • zorki1c

      Chenoweth sang one of the best renditions I’ve ever heard and really seemed to be enjoying herself. The fans loved it.

  • fred

    He got the words right. He always sounds like he gargles with razor blades.

  • donny

    Well said, FireGuyFrank.

    What a bunch of critics we’ve become.

  • Eppie

    After seeing all of the news about how awful Tyler preformed National Anthem at the AFC game, I had to check it out. Are people NUTS? I personally think he did great! It was sang with in his range, at least he did not try something extravagant! That’s his voice and that’s what should be expected of it. I have heard waaaaay worse and seen way worse. I for one am grateful he didn’t attempt to “sing” the high notes, for I have heard those DESTORYED by these called best; and being compared as one of the worst attempts, what about Rosanne Barr? People need to get a life or try it themselves, that’s a Difficult song for anyone! Good Job Tyler, I think u did Great! I know I could not have done better!

    • elmo

      . . . was sang ?????

    • Bob

      He was NOT in his range. He started in a key that was too high and it caused him to strain and be flat on most of the high notes. He screamed his way through those parts. My ear is pretty well trained and I thought the only time he was actually “on’ was during the low parts. But even then he had almost zero vibrato and he didn’t have enough breath to hold out the notes in key. He’s in his sixties. Time to get a haircut, dress his age and avoid singing unless he can do the song justice. This is coming from an Aerosmith fan who is also big on performers not performing unless they are doing the profession justice.

      • cinmatzo

        Does anyone else thing Tyler’s look is reminiscent of Capt. Jack Sparrow?

    • MrNiceGuy

      Yea, it was sang within his range, and the National Anthem far exceeds his range. He is nothing more than the latest singer to butcher it, I just can’t wait to see who they get for the Super Blow.

    • moe

      I agree-i also had to listen after reading the reports and I thought he did a fine job!

  • Pwally

    Stevie Tyler did AWESOME!!! He’s from Mass. and he did his thing for his team! Way to go Stevie….we all love you xoxo

  • Linda (A Singer)

    That wasn’t singing, it was screaming. If you can’t hit the high notes or sing don’t do it!

    • Renee (a less pretentious singer)

      This is rock n roll, baby! The man is what, 60!? Voices age, and in rock n roll they don’t age like fine wine but he’s still got it.

      • Sans

        No Renee, the National Anthem is NOT rock -n- Roll “baby”! How about a little respect “baby”.

  • dan

    gramps and fred.. i want to see you better…tyler has paid his dues what is your claim to fame????

    • fred

      He sang it like Steven Tyler. That’s all. I did not have a problem with it I just didn’t expect it to be any different sounding than his normal screetching which i still like (One Way Street & Walking the Dog are some of my favorites). Probably the best rendition of the national anthem that I ve heard was done by Meatloaf at the All-Star game in Chicago back in the 1990’s. Very powerful.

      • NikW


        I loved It!

    • Casper

      You probably are into ‘American Idol’, too. Dan, you sounde like a petty little person.

    • Sans

      Americans don’t need a “claim to fame” to demand respect for their National Anthem. Tyler has paid no more dues than any other American, in fact, he’s paid less if he hasn’t served his country in one form or another. It appears that Tyler has only served himself thus far.

  • Mark Scanlon

    I would’ve timed the fly over while he was singing. It could’ve been worse….no big deal.

  • dan



    […] Steven Tyler Ripped For National Anthem Performance ( […]

  • Rae

    I think he did a great job. They asked an old rocker to sing it and that’s exactly what they got. He remembered all the words unlike some others who have sung it, and he put his heart in it. Go Steven!!

  • Ruff Ryder

    OMG….just horrible !!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I don’t blame him…he’s loooooong over the hill with a burnt-out voice. I blame the pea brain(s) who decided to have him sing it ! ” White men can’t jump “….now ” White men can’t sing”, either !!

  • M.P.

    He did exactly as I expected, and I think he did a fantastic job. He in NO way disrespected our anthem. He just sang it with his own inimitable style.

    Was it my favorite version? No. I’m not a fan of rock versions of the anthem. Nor am I a fan of C/W versions. But it was a true American version, nonetheless.

  • susan zachary

    Please sing our National Anthem as it was written. Many men and women have lost their lives defending our riight to sing that song. Thank you Ms. Chenoweth.

    • Phil M

      Many died defending our right to sing a song? You’re a clueless one aren’t you?

      People like you make me so glad to have left the states.

      Phil Martin
      Corporal USMC

      • Donna

        Why bother “staining” your name with “Corporal USMC” if you are “so glad to have left the states”? For so many reasons, I find it hard to believe that you were ever a Marine.

      • LtCol USMC (Ret.)

        Glad to have left the states? You’re a disgrace to the Corps.

  • Mark

    This still is America is it not? Get over your single minded prejudices.

  • Jef

    Steven Tyler nailed it,although his very typical “screech” was involed,but what did you ecpect,it’s STEVEN TYLER!!!! He didn’t mess up the words,he didn’t spit on the ground he was being himself,no more no less. Thank you Steven Tyler.

  • maggier

    After the brouhaha about Tyler, I went online to watch him sing it. It was Tyler being Tyler — I’ve heard much worse

  • Reeves' Army

    I did not think it was that bad of a National Anthem. Do most of the lefties in Boston even know what the National Anthem is supposed to sound like? They knew what they were getting with Steven Tyler.

  • John Kvastner

    He was far better singing the anthem than Obama was at throwing out the first pitch at the ’09 All-Star Game. Tyler probably remembers players on his favorite teams, too.

  • Dave

    It was…bad. Did not do a good job. He did NOT get the words right…he blew the bombs bursting in air line. Very flat uninspiring performance.

  • wlkelly

    Bringing on misfits like this guy to sing our national anthem is an absolute disgrace and spit in the face to all the men and women who have gone to battle to protect the rights of scoundrels like this creep. Hold the NFL responsible along with liberal nuts in Boston.

  • Ed

    He was a rocker and sings like a rocker. Get over it!

  • Jeff

    At least he didn’t grab his crotch during the performance.

    • Geno

      He should have grabbed them. Helped with the high notes.

  • BigBoa

    Bad? Perhaps? Awful? Not really……

    Worse than Roseann? That is unlikely to happen unless someone burns a US flag while singing…….

    If you’re going to have Tyler sing the anthem, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. Personally the mighty Boa thought is beat some of the “divas” that sing it and bellow and squeal their way through most of it…..

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