Stars as big as Christina Aguilera, Roseanne Barr and Steven Tyler have all famously flubbed the National Anthem. It’s no wonder, then, that a local deputy sheriff who volunteered to sing the nation’s song at a police event would have a little trouble, too.
Just like those stars, Deputy Sheriff Ezra Harris’ fumbled version of “The Star Spangled Banner” went viral, with the YouTube video of his performance receiving more than 1.3 million hits.
“I just couldn’t get myself together,” Harris, 53 and now retired from the police force, told “Good Morning America” of what went wrong.
Unlike the stars whose national anthem “oops” likely took them off the invite list for future affairs, Harris got the chance to do-over his national anthem performance, live on national TV.
“I’m hoping to reinvent myself,” Harris said. “You know, to get this second chance and just give it a good punch.”
“GMA” sent Harris from his home in Chattanooga, Tenn., to Nashville to meet with country music superstar Dierks Bentley, an 11-time Grammy nominee, for vocal lessons and the jam session of his life.
Harris’ do-over didn’t stop with Bentley.
After his trip to Nashville, Harris came to New York City and the Times Square studio of “GMA” where, today, he performed the national anthem live in front of hundreds of fans and millions of people watching on TV.
Harris was backed by JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, a Connecticut-based gospel group. The group also practiced with Harris in the days leading up to his performance, a moment Harris said he had dreamed about for years.
Harris’ mentor, Bentley, was there to watch, too.
“He did so good,” Bentley said. “That’s the most patriotic moment of my life, I think, to be here in New York and hearing you singing, a great choir. It was unbelievable, man.”