Pop icon Whitney Houston, who died on Saturday in a Beverly Hills hotel at the age of 48, will be remembered for many of her chart-topping songs, including “I Will Always Love You” and “How Will I Know.”
But one of Houston’s biggest achievements was her rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” considered by some to be the best performance of America’s anthem ever.
On January 27, 1991, only 10 days after the United States went to war in the Persian Gulf for Iraq 1, Houston performed this memorable rendition, taking the field at Tampa Stadium prior to Super Bowl XXV between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.
Unlike so many other failed “Star-Spangled Banner” moments (think Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler in the lead-up to this year’s New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens match-up), Houston’s performance was flawless, inspiring, and emotional.
As Yahoo! sports blogger Chris Chase puts it: “It’s as close to perfect as a human voice can get.”
The pop diva herself said her patriotism fueled her performance.
“I think it was a time when Americans needed to believe in our country." Houston said later that year "I remember standing there and looking at all those people, and it was like I could see in their faces the hopes and prayers and fears of the entire country.”
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons