Lauren Alaina Overcame a Big Fear to Perform the National Anthem for the Atlanta Braves [Watch]
Lauren Alaina headed back home to her native Georgia on Sunday (Oct. 31) to sing the National Anthem before the World Series Game 5, where her favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, were going head to head against the Houston Astros at the Braves' home stadium of Truist Park.
Alaina performed wearing Braves apparel, and — accompanied by her bandleader Adam "Tico" Hernandez on acoustic guitar — delivered a pitch-perfect and soulful rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
When she stepped out into the center of the ballpark, it was more than just a performance for the "Getting Good" singer: It was also a triumph over a long-held fear that dates back to 2011, when she flubbed the lyrics of the anthem during a Thanksgiving Day NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Day Packers.
Back then, Alaina was just 17 years old, and fresh off her runner-up victory on American Idol. Although she quickly took to Twitter to acknowledge her mistake, some viewers remained critical, even attacking the singer on social media for forgetting the words to the song. Now, she says, her triumphant return to "The Star-Spangled Banner" is a full-circle moment dedicated to the young performer she was back then.
"That sweet, young girl that sang the National Anthem and messed it up on national television. The one that was viciously bullied on the Internet and called UnAmerican," Alaina reflects in a post about her recent National Anthem gig. "I haven't been able to find the courage to do it ever since that day. I've been asked probably 50 times and declined. The fear had been too much for me to overcome."
That is, until she learned that the Atlanta Braves — the team she'd grown up rooting for, alongside her dad — were going to the World Series.
"I said I would sing if they made it," she continues. "I will eternally be grateful to that group of men for giving me a gift they didn't even mean to give me. It took me almost ten years to conquer my fear, and I could not be more proud of it."
Plus, she got a chance to bring the most important Braves fan in her life along with her to the game. "The best part was getting to call my dad and tell him he was going to attend the World Series," Alaina adds.
Her National Anthem spot at the World Series was the latest development in a big year of creative growth for Alaina. In 2021 alone, she has released a new album, acted in a Hallmark movie and put out a personal new self-help book.
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