During a tough division game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets in New York City on February 5, anthem singer Amber Iman attracted some unwanted attention when she sang a few lines of “O Canada” incorrectly.
Iman, who will play Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in upcoming US tour of Hamilton: An American Musical, claims that the teleprompter broke, forcing her to ad-lib the lyrics to the Canadian anthem in the middle of her performance. She sang, “O Canada, we sing our hearts for thee,” instead of the correct line, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”
Raptors players and coaches were noticeably confused as Iman performed the wrong lyrics.
“I’m going to leave that alone. But yeah, that anthem was a lot different than I’ve heard over the last five years. A lot different,” said point guard Kyle Lowry, who, despite having flu-like symptoms, recorded a triple double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
“Her voice was beautiful, but the anthem, the song, the words… have her come to Toronto, we’ll come and get somebody to give her some lessons,” Lowry said in an Associated Press article.
After the game, the Raptors teased the Nets by tweeting them a picture of the lyrics to the Canadian anthem and captioning it “@BrooklynNets For future reference…”
The Raptors went on to win the game 103–95. The win provided the team with a much-needed confidence boost, as the Raptors had lost eight of their last 10 games entering the contest.
A spokeswoman for the Nets later apologized to Iman for the teleprompter failure.