Music Notes

3 'American Idol' Alums Reinvent The National Anthem, Giving The 1814 Song A 2017 Twist

"Is this an anthem for all of us? Or just some of us?"

The national anthem was written back in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, but it's getting a makeover in 2017 thanks to three American Idol alums. By putting new lyrics to the memorable music, season 4's Anthony Fedorov has given the patriotic tune a whole new life.


Fedorov was inspired by NFL star Colin Kaepernick's headline-grabbing action of kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" at professional football games as a way to protest social injustice. The former San Francisco 49er, who is currently without a team, has received both positive and negative attention for speaking out about what he believes in.

"I started reflecting on this song and did some research and discovered some of the uncomfortable truths about its origins," Fedorov told Variety. "Because of that, I wanted to imagine an anthem that really does reflect the face of America right now. Diversity is the bedrock of our country. Why not open the conversation and ask if we can revisit the lyrics?"

Upon reaching out to his fellow singer friends, it was Tamyra Gray and David Hernandez — from season 1 and season 7, respectively — who answered Fedorov's call. The end result is a powerful take on the national anthem titled "Bless Our Home."

Fedorov said he wants people to become educated about the origin of "The Star-Spangled Banner," as he began thinking about it more after seeing Hamilton in Los Angeles and seeing historical figures portrayed by people of color.

"In much the same way, I'm hoping to encourage people to really hear these words and ask themselves the hard question — is this an anthem for all of us? Or just some of us?" Fedorov said. "I'm' hoping to shift the conversation. At the end of the day, we all have the right to pursue our happiness and leave a legacy for our children. We are a country built by immigrants."

Check out "Bless Our Home" here:

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