Whitney Houston was an electrifying singer with one of the most powerful voices in the history of American music. Prior to the start of Super Bowl XXV, she brought both her stage presence and talent to her rendition of the National Anthem.
What made Houston’s performance even more poignant was the historical context in which it took place. According to an article on Esquire.com, only 10 days before Super Bowl XXV was held on Jan. 27, 1991, the United States military was sent into Iraq. This move was the start of the Persian Gulf war.
With America at war, the biggest game of the season for America’s most popular sport took on even more significance. The country responded, as the articles notes, with a “rally ’round the flag effect.”
To put it simply, the country – and football fans – were in a patriotic mood. Who better to capture that mood and sing America’s song than Whitney Houston?
Whitney Houston Awes Country with Performance of National Anthem
What Houston shared wasn’t a performance full of special effects and drama. Instead, she dressed simply, walked up to the microphone, and let her voice and charisma do the work. What she did that day 30 years ago still stands out as one of the greatest renditions of the National Anthem ever. It will make you proud to be an American.
Esquire’s Justin Kirkland shared a beautiful tribute to Whitney Houston’s performance on its 30th anniversary. The writer called it “a tour de force of an anthem pivoting between powerful silky notes and effortlessly rich vibrato.”
“The intricacies were somehow both subtle and revolutionary, unlike any Super Bowl rendition of the National Anthem that had ever preceded it,” Kirkland added.
Kirkland also makes the point that Whitney Houston, a Black artist, singing the National Anthem at the country’s most significant sporting event was especially important for Black Americans.
“Sandwiched between the War on Drugs in the ’80s, which disproportionately affected Black people and the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Houston’s ascent and domination of a typically white-dominated pop landscape was a testament to Black excellence,” Kirkland wrote.
Even though Whitney Houston didn’t sing the National Anthem live, it remains a classic. What she did for the performance was record the song beforehand, then sang along to a dead microphone. This, according to the article, is often done by performers for large live events.
You can watch Whitney Houston sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl XXV in 1991 below.
Eric Church to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl LV
Super Bowl LV will take place on Feb. 7. Given the honor of singing the National Anthem prior to this year’s game is country artist Eric Church and R&B and Hip-Hop star Jazmine Sullivan. The game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The Kansas City Chiefs will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his Chiefs are the favorites to win the game. However, it is hard to bet against six-tme Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and any team he leads.
William Hill Sportsbook says the Chiefs are a three-point favorite to win their second-straight Super Bowl. Kansas City defeated the Buccaneers, 27-24, during the regular season. CBS SportsLine’s Stephen Oh is also expecting the Chiefs to win.
The Kansas City Chiefs earned their spot with a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan 24. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers punched their Super Bowl ticket with a 31-26 upset over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFS Championship Game.