ENTIRE stadium sings 'Star-Spangled Banner' after Michelle Brooks-Thompson's mic fails
Michelle Brooks-Thompson has sung the national anthem at a number of sporting events, including the NBA, MLB, and Duke's Mayo Bowl game in Charlotte in December 2021. However, at Charlotte FC's inaugural home game at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night, she had her microphone shut off for an entire song.
She was accompanied by 74,479 supporters, the largest crowd she has ever played in front of, who saved her performance by singing the anthem alongside in unison. "It definitely wasn’t what we wanted at first," Brooks-Thompson said in an interview on Sunday. "But you know what? It became a magical moment."
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After the performance, Brooks-Thompson stayed back for the soccer game, which Charlotte FC lost 1-0. She later revealed that she spoke to fans at the stadium who were crying because they were moved by the entire crowd singing the anthem together. Within the first 24 hours of being posted, one of the several videos of the impromptu singalong had over 643,000 views on Twitter.
The microphone went out for the National Anthem ahead of Charlotte FC’s home opener & this happened. Wow. Chills. This crowd is amazing.@wcnc | #ForTheCrown pic.twitter.com/KIDqBGJuZL— Ashley Stroehlein (@ashstro) March 6, 2022
"Well, it’s not the kind of viral that we probably want. But it will go down as very historic," Brooks-Thompson remarked.
Brooks-Thompson can, and often does, perform a wide range of music, but she is best recognized for her soulful renditions of the national anthem, which usually lasts around 90 seconds. The Massachusetts-based artist has been singing it at huge events for the past 20 years.
In her own words, "It’s become sort of a trademark for me. And I don’t take that lightly. To be able to sing a song that represents our country, and to sing it constantly, is very special."
Brooks-Thompson is still unsure about what occurred Saturday night. Everything went smoothly during the soundcheck, which took place roughly three hours before game time. She was confident as she headed out onto the field. After all, she'd been singing the song for years and had done so just two months earlier at the same stadium.
For stadium concerts, Brooks-Thompson, like other professional singers, wears in-ear monitors so she can hear her own voice without any feedback or delay as the sound travels from her own mic to the stadium's speakers. She started off without a hitch, but things quickly began to fall apart. She heard static in her in-ear monitors, and then she couldn't hear her own voice. She did return briefly but was cut back out again right away.
However, in the meantime, the ecstatic fans had taken over in a full-throated shout. As the song went, the crowd grew louder.
Brooks-Thompson, on the other hand, was having a different experience than one might think. She could hear herself on her in-ear monitors again as she came back in approximately midway through the song. She saw this as a sign that she was back again, and she continued to sing out the song as normal. Because of the overwhelming positive response, she may have added an extra punch to it.
As to whether there was a problem with the new sound system that had been installed for soccer, Brooks-Thompson was never given a complete explanation.
Brooks-Thompson added that she's already tentatively scheduled for a Carolina Panthers game in 2022. She has yet to be rebooked for another Charlotte FC home game, despite her desire to perform again in one. By Sunday, she was giggling about the whole thing.