Kelly Clarkson will be the national anthem singer for Super Bowl 2012, which will feature the New England Patriots against the New York Giants in a rematch of a few years ago. At approximately, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Ms. Clarkson will stand near a microphone and sing Francis Scott Key's most sacred tune, The Star-Spangled Banner, and try her best to: A) not screw it up; and B) place herself among the greatest ever to sing it.
However, since Whitney Houston's amazing rendition during the '91 Super Bowl before the Giants and Buffalo Bills played at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, FL, every other national anthem singer has seemed to have failed to live up to the song's expectations.
The truth is, not a lot can go right (especially if you're name is Christina Aguilera) if one decides to sing the national anthem for the Super Bowl, as you're always going to be compared to Houston's performance, which was the first and only Super Bowl national anthem performance to be turned into a Top 20 single.
Plus, I've never gone to a Super Bowl party and heard positive reviews about the national anthem singer.
Of course, I never gone to a Super Bowl party and actually heard the whole version of the Star Spangled Banner because the volume on the television is usually still down or people are talking while trying to get settled in.
So, just last night, I embarked on a journey -- well, I sat in my office chair and went on YouTube -- to check out all the past Super Bowl national anthem performances since Houston's and came up with this top 5 list.
(Note: my worst performance does not need to be mentioned as Ms. Aguilera easily won that award after her mistake last year.)
(Note No. 2: If you'd like to know, Mariah Carey was the singer after 9/11 -- yeah -- the Back Street Boys sang it in '01 -- what? -- and Kathie Lee Gifford performed it in '95 -- no comment.)
(Note No. 3: For a really good national anthem do not have a cheesy singer perform -- sorry, Cher and Jewel.)
5) Garth Brooks -- '93 Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills at The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Garth Brooks Sings National Anthem 1993 Super Bowl NFL Dallas Cowboys (via fu2nbc)
The best thing about this performance is Brooks' shirt, which is sooooo '93 -- remember zubaz pants? Also, it helps that I am a huge Garth Brooks fan and my favorite NFL team, the Bills, were playing in the game (don't you dare mention the score!).
4) Faith Hill -- '00 Tennessee Titans vs. St. Louis Rams at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA
Faith Hill National Anthem (FULL) - Super Bowl XXXIV (via jammer7321)
The best thing about this anthem is Hill, who does a nice old-fashioned rendition of a song that should be 90-seconds long. Her version happened before a very exciting Super Bowl and, well, is freakin' Faith Hill!
3) Carrie Underwood -- '10 Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints in Miami, FL
Carrie Underwood 'The National Anthem' Super Bowl XLIV (via CountryGirl1379)
If you're starting to see a pigish theme to all of this, well, you're catching on. I love how Ms. Underwood does a decent version of the national anthem, while wearing a white jump-cat suit.
2) Academy Choirs -- '05 Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, FL
US National Anthem by the Academy Choirs (via Lunatic77)
1) Jennifer Hudson -- '09 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
I must admit, I forgot about this performance that was given by the combined choirs of the NAVY, Air Force, ARMY and Coast Guard. Hard not to get emotional after watching this one.
Jennifer Hudson National Anthem Super Bowl (via Jerome Brooks)
As close as Whitney Houston as you're going to get. Well done Ms. Hudson.
For more on Super Bowl 2012, check out the SB Nation New York StoryStream. For everything on the Giants, visit the SB Nation blog Big Blue View, while Pats Pulpit has everything on the New England Patriots.