I often like to say that “music is music.”  And I expect to see and hear a fair amount of interpretation – I live in Nashville, and I work with musicians.  But here’s the difference: while I experience a fair amount of “diva,” the folks I know respect the music.  The National Anthem for the 2011 Super Bowl simply wasn’t about the music – it was about the singer.  And of all the songs you leave alone, the National Anthem is never “yours” to make it “your own.”  But still, I can forget melisma miasma quickly enough.  But there is never – ever – any reason for a professional American singer to forget the lyrics.  EDIT: unless music isn’t your actual profession.

Link to NPR article about singers and melisma