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René Marie: Star-Spangled Controversy

René Marie

When Colorado-based jazz singer René Marie first performed her arrangement of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” she knew she’d created a song that made her feel like an American.

“After I sang the song for the very first time, I thought, This is the way I want to sing these two songs from now on,” the jazz singer said from her home in Denver, Colo. The arrangement combines the poetic and hopeful lyrics of what’s known as the “Black National Anthem” with the time-honored melody of the country’s official national anthem.

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