Much like the halftime show, the Super Bowl National Anthem performance has evolved over the years.Early on, the NFL called on college marching bands like Grambling State University and the U.S. Air Force Academy to perform The Star-Spangled Banner.
The league’s first foray into having pop artists sing the National Anthem came in 1982 when Diana Ross performed.
The likes of Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond followed her a few years later.
Nowadays the Super Bowl National Anthem has gone completely pop, as SI.com’s Jimmy Traina recently pointed out that the NFL is fond of having American Idol winners do their rendition.
Good or bad, here are the most memorable Super Bowl National Anthems:
R&B sensation Luther Vandross received rave reviews when he sang it before Super Bowl XXXI between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers in 1997.
Who could forget Christina Aguilera totally butchering it last year?
There was a bit of controversy in 1993 when Garth Brooks signed up to perform in Super Bowl XXVII before the Dallas Cowboys destroyed the Buffalo Bills. Brooks left the stadium only an hour before he was set to take the stage because NBC wouldn’t air his soon-to-be-released music video during the game. Network execs were ready to use Jon Bon Jovi, who was spotted in the crowd, but gave in at the end and showed a short clip of Brooks’ video.
Country star Faith Hill brought the house down in 2000 as the crowd prepared for an epic St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans Super Bowl.
But the most memorable National Anthem performance of all, arguably for any sport, was Whitney Houston’s performance in 1991, at the height of the Gulf War.
Did we make any glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.