There’s a lot to love about the Super Bowl even if you’re not a sports fanatic. As for one, there’s the half time show which serves as the best promotional platform to whoever will perform there. The likes of Aerosmith to Black Eyed Peas, U2 to Christina Aguilera, and The Rolling Stones to Britney Spears have all stepped and performed at the Super Bowl stage. You also get to see the coolest commercials during the Super Bowl. Remember pre-Will and Grace Sean Hayes? How about Brad Pitt’s Heineken ad? Or the one with Betty White and Snickers? For couch potatoes and TV networks, it is also a great venue to debut a new season (Survivor, The Voice), a highlight episode (The Office, Grey’s Anatomy) or get the highest ratings ever for your show (Friends staggering almost 53 million viewers).
As for others, one of the most anticipated moments is the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. This will always be considered as a highlight of an artist’s career as it can be a breakout or a disaster. This was even more controversial this year, as Christina Aguilera flubbed the lyrics last year. So what I did was watch past SSB performances (of the last 21 years) from the last Super Bowls and list my top seven favorites (and which I consider the best).
7. KATHIE LEE GIFFORD (1995)
You might know Kathie as the prominent half of the talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, but that does not mean that she can’t and she doesn’t have the singing pipes. Her 1995 version of the Star Spangled Banner is a favorite just because it was clear, concise, and you can feel that she was just there to sing at the top of her lungs.
6. JORDIN SPARKS (2008)
Surprisingly, Jordin was the first Idol that was asked to perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. What made her performance memorable was that unlike other divas that performed the song, she did not oversing nor shouted at the audience for majority of the duration of her performance. Carrie, take notes.
5. DIXIE CHICKS (2003)
There’s this given fact that it is more difficult to sing a song like the Star Spangled Banner when you have other people belting it out with you in front of a million people. However, the Dixie Chicks made it look effortlessly easy with an oozing chemistry that made no individual stand out, except for the combined voices of the three.
4. CHER (1999)
Don’t be fooled because this might seem as your typical Cher performance, but it wasn’t until the last few notes that made this a very heartfelt and excellently sung rendition that gives us the trademark Cher that we all love.
3. KELLY CLARKSON (2012)
It is not a difficult job to beat last year’s notorious SSB performance, but most recent performer Kelly Clarkson got in the list not because of that. It’s more of the fact that she did not oversing, her emotions were very much felt, and despite some pacing issues at the start, she was able to combine all of the other factors to come up with a memorable rendition.
2. FAITH HILL (2000)
There’s something about country singers and the Star Spangled Banner that makes them an irresistible perfect combination. Faith Hill’s 2000 performance makes you realize how good of a vocalist she is, and how good the song is.
1. WHITNEY HOUSTON (1991)
So what if this was pre-recorded? Up until now, Whitney Houston’s 1991 performance still lives up as the best and most memorable rendition of America’s National Anthem. This has been the basis of all the succeeding performance, and if there’s one word that will describe it, I guess I’ll have to go with soulful. That’s how good it was.
How about you? What version did you like? And moreso, did you enjoy the Super Bowl this year?