Strange Super Bowl National Anthems [Video]
Today, the performance of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl is just as big a media spectacle as the half-time show and the game itself. Huge stars are asked to deliver rousing renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the whole world watches to see if they mess up the words, lip-synch or perform live. In the last few years, we have seen amazing renditions by Kelly Clarkson, The Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson and Lady Gaga. Way back in 1993, even Garth Brooks stepped up and swung for the fences. But, historically, there have been some STRANGE choices and some really bizarre renditions at The Big Game. WATCH!
Yep! That was Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Ladd, who was asked to sing the anthem at Pasadena in 1980. While Ladd was a huge television star and actually attempting a solo recording career, it still seems a strange choice considering the big-voiced disco divas who were tearing up the charts at the time. Were they all busy that day? Did Donna Summer just not like football?
An even stranger choice was made in 1995, long after the Super Bowl had decided that the anthem was bigger and better if the giants of the music industry were performing it. Remember, by this time, we had already been treated to the Super Bowl's defining anthem. That 1991 performance by Whitney Houston, though lip-synched, set the bar for how "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be performed when one of the biggest prizes in sports is on the line.
So, it was grossly peculiar in 1995 (yes, just 4 years later) when the Super Bowl asked Kathie Lee Gifford to sing the anthem.
Now, I will agree that Kathie Lee did a really nice job with the song. However, it was 1995, people!! There were HUGE singing stars available. We picked this one???? Hello!!!! I guess we should just be thankful Regis didn't sing harmony.
Of course, in fairness, the ugliest anthem performance of all-time actually came to us from one of the aforementioned huge singing stars. In 2011 in Texas, Christina Aguilera stepped to the mic and fans just anxiously waited, convinced she was going to belt out the anthem and deliver an amazing, stirring rendition. She belted it out okay . . . but completely forgot the words and threw the nation's most-beloved melody into the Hamilton Beach blender. Remember this disaster?
So, yes. Throughout the history of the Super Bowl, there have been some bizarre choices for performers to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and, as Christina Aguilera proved, there have been some tragic renditions. Sometimes even the biggest voices on the planet can't handle the big song on the big occasion.
Tonight, all eyes and pressure fall upon country star Luke Bryan, who says he will perform an a cappella version tonight to kick off Super Bowl 51.
Let the National Anthem wagering begin! Will Luke remember the words? How long will his version of the Star-Spangeled Banner last? We're watching, Luke! And listening.