CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Macy Gray called her hometown newspaper to apologize for a disastrous performance of the national anthem.

Fans at Monday's Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game in Canton started booing when the pop singer haltingly garbled the words into ``Oh say, can you see, by the twilight's last gleaming.''

Gray's mother had told The Repository that rehearsals went well. Gray then called while preparing for a concert in Detroit on Wednesday.

``I've never stood in the middle of a football field with 25,000 people watching, with planes flying over me,'' she said. ``I blanked and I couldn't believe I forgot the words.

``I have total respect for that song.''

Gray said she had wanted to honor her hometown with the performance and thanked those who clapped anyway.