Jennie Lea, a musician from Utah, has become an internet star after her performance of the national anthem at the Summit County Fair’s demolition derby went viral recently. The video captured by a spectator shows Lea standing in the back of a pick-up truck and performing a surprising rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Lea sings the well-known lyrics at a painfully slow speed leading many to believe that the singer was under the influence. Spectators were outraged with the performance and expressed their concern on social media causing Summit County officials to issue an apology.
Jennie Lea addressed her performance as well and expressed remorse and embarrassment for the video that has now gone viral.
“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, a native of the Summit County area, said she was honored to be asked to sing and 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’s response to her critics is worthy of as much attention as her performance as she showed a great deal of integrity and a desire to move past this incident and grow from it.
“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.”
Watch the viral video that has put Jennie Lea in the spotlight below.
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