Whitney Houston’s Brilliant Anthem

February 12, 2012 by staff 

Whitney Houston’s Brilliant Anthem, Ten days after the United States went to war in the Persian Gulf, Whitney Houston performed the greatest rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in sports history.

On Jan. 27, 1991, Houston took the field at Tampa Stadium prior to Super Bowl XXV to sing the national anthem. The US was at war in Iraq and the game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills was serving as a welcome respite from the televised reports of scud bombs and cease fires.

The pop star had recorded the vocal weeks before in a Los Angeles studio and lip-synched the song at the Super Bowl, but few in the crowd of 73,000 or the 110 million watching at home seemed to notice. Houston’s gospel-infused performance and her soaring vocals, all set to the patriotic backdrop of flags and flyovers, are the standard against which all anthems are compared. It’s as close to perfect as a human voice can get.

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