A famous family and a famous flub: Madison McFerrin heads to Detroit with pitch-perfect EP

Staff Pick


  • Kylah Benes-Trapp

Before a 2016 incident, the bar was set sky-high for singer Madison McFerrin.

As the daughter of jazz singer Bobby McFerrin and granddaughter of Robert McFerrin Sr., who in 1953 became the first Black man to join the Metropolitan Opera, Madison’s viral humiliation after performing a botched rendition of the national anthem during a Hillary Clinton rally could’ve been the end of her career. Instead, she’s managed to turn an off-key moment into triumph, as she does in her latest video for “TRY” off of her You + I EP.

The visual opens with a selfie video of Snoop Dogg offering commentary to McFerrin’s “fucking terrible” rendition, and follows McFerrin during soundcheck as insulting tweets scroll across the screen, including but not limited to: “STOP SINGING… FOREVER.” The voice that emerges, though, is unrecognizable to the one from that televised moment in 2016 and is both sweet, soaring, and piercing as McFerrin sings about taking risks without fear, and rebuilding her reputation for emotive and atmospheric soulcapella. Detroit’s Britney Stoney also performs.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at El Club; 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-279-7382; elclubdetroit.com. Tickets are $15.

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