The performance of the national anthem is one of the biggest moments of the Super Bowl, a major feel-good moment before kick off in the big game. It is always a highly anticipated moment and the visuals that come with it can even be tear jerking. Over the years there have been many memorable performances ranging from powerful renditions to controversial moments. The 2024 performance is yet to be announced but there’s a whole host of artists hoping to be selected, as they perform in front of the nation and the 2 best teams of the year, the 49ers and the Eagles are being tipped to be there in the odds to win super bowl but there’s a lot of football left to be played. The performances have sparked much debate be it at the bar, with the family sat round the TV or on social media. Here are some of the most memorable national anthem performances in history. 

Whitney Houston, Super Bowl XXV (1991)

Beginning with what is considered by many to be the greatest performance of all time, the late Whitney Houston wowed the audience in 1991. One of the defining voices of her generation and rto this day one of the most revered singers ever, Whitney’s powerful vocals at Tampa Stadium have left a lasting impression on fans. Her flawless delivery is to this day the standard-setter and very few have managed to get close to the “I Will Always Love You” singer. There will never be another Whitney Houston and there may never be another who could deliver like she did on that day. 

Christina Aguilera, Super Bowl XLV (2011)

For all the hits, there has to be some misses. Unfortunately for Christina Aguilera, this was a big miss. The “Genie In A Bottle” singer could have done with a genie of her own on the day to wish she could go back and have a redo. She infamously fluffed her lines, singing the incorrect lines. Instead of singing "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?" in the four-versed Star Spangled Banner, the pop star sang "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming?". She profusely apologized for the flub in the following days, however her actual performance was flawless vocally. 

Lady Gaga, Super Bowl LI (2017)

Many were not sure what to expect from Lady Gaga when she performed the anthem at the NRG Stadium for Super Bowl LI. The “Poker Face” singer is known for her idiosyncrasies in her performances both vocally and visually. However, the visuals were stunning and the voice followed in what was yet another electrifying presentation. Her voice soared with dramatic flair and she silenced any doubters very quickly. 

Luther VanDross, Super Bowl XXXI (1997)

Legendary R&B singer Luther Vandross took a big risk with his performance of the Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXXI and it paid off. The “Never Too Much” man injected his own brand of R&B and soul into the song, wowing audience with his ice cold act. Many have even called for the arrangement to be released as a single such is their love of the song and his rendition ranks among the best of any performer at the big game.

Alicia Keys, Super Bowl XLVII (2013)

This one is tough to admit as Alicia Keys is one of the greatest pure singers of the 21st century. While vocally she was great, the overall arrangement and the sheer amount of time it took for her to get through it has this ranked among the worst. She spent a whopping 2 minutes and 36 seconds tinkling the ivories while singing the anthem which to date is the longest Super Bowl National Anthem. While the anthem is always one of the highlights of the big game, many in the crowd just wanted to watch the football by the time she was halfway through.

Jennifer Hudson, Super Bowl XLIII (2009)

Jennifer Hudson is yet another example of an inspiring and moving anthem performance. Known for her powerful delivery and incredible runs, Hudson’s emotional arrangement captured the hearts of fans and resonated with us all. She sang with great passion and authenticity and her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was one of the best of the decade by the time the noughties had finished. Jennifer Hudson's performance at Super Bowl XLIII was a moving and inspiring rendition. 

Mariah Carey, Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)

Iconic pop superstar Mariah Carey performed the national anthem at an incredibly tender time for the United States. She appeared at Super Bowl XXXVI at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA just a few months after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre. In a heartwarming and tearjerking moment of reflection, Mariah’s incredible voice brought the nation together once again. In that moment, football came second and millions of us were able to hold our loved ones close and tight as we were reminded of what it is to be an American.

We are now approaching fifty years of solo performances (at least without the marching band) and these are just some of the best (and worst) we have seen. The Super Bowl is the biggest date on the US sporting calendar and the national anthem is always one of the highlights.

Read Also:

Other Articles