Soulful music legend James Taylor could probably soothe plenty of folks simply by vocalizing the phone book.
But the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer got off to a bumpy public start Thursday night when he took on the national anthem while opening Game 2 of the World Series at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Instead of launching into “The Star Spangled Banner,” Taylor inadvertently started singing the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” before getting back on track and belting out the national anthem.
The five-time Grammy winner, 65, quickly realized his flub after only a couple of words into the song. But, always the professional, the guitar-strumming Taylor dove right into the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner” without missing a beat.
His small gaffe lit up Twitter, with fans coming to his defense.
“Even when James Taylor messes up he makes it sound good. Smooth transition right there,” wrote Boston radio host Marc Bertrand.
“Best save in singing national anthem: James Taylor tonight during #WorldSeries,” Tweeted CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Later, during the game’s seventh-inning stretch, Taylor reprised his lovely false start, leading the ballpark throng in a full version of “America the Beautiful.”
The night turned out beautifully, as well, for the St. Louis Cardinals, who won Game 2 over the Red Sox 4-2.