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A Spanish-Language Recording of National Anthem Sets Off Fireworks

April 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

MIAMI — British music producer Adam Kidron says that when he came up with the idea of a Spanish-language version of the U.S. national anthem, he saw it as an ode to the millions of immigrants seeking a better life.

But in the week since Kidron announced the song -- which features artists such as Wyclef Jean, hip-hop star Pitbull and Puerto Rican singers Carlos Ponce and Olga Tanon -- it has been the target of a fierce backlash.

"Would the French accept people singing the La Marseillaise in English as a sign of French patriotism? Of course not," said Mark Krikorian, head of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that supports tighter immigration controls.

The initial version of "Nuestro Himno," or "Our Anthem," comes out today and uses lyrics based closely on the English-language original, said Kidron, who heads the record label Urban Box Office.

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