Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
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Bronx, New York, United States of America
Birthday
December 13
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Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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FEBRUARY 5, 2011 2:59PM

The Most Memorable Super Bowl National Anthem Performance

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For part 2 of my three-part Super Bowl Weekend blog posts, I'm taking a look at performances of the National Anthem.  At this year's Big Game, the honors go to Christina Aguilera, who I'm sure will do a fine job.  The most memorable rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," in my opinion, was at Super Bowl XXV in 1991 by Whitney Houston.

It was a great version of our nation's anthem, and it became a best-selling single.  (Proceeds went to support Gulf War veterans.)  There was some controversy when it was revealed that Houston may have pre-recorded the song and lip synced her performance at Tampa Stadium, but it was still a powerful version, and still holds up as one of the best ever recorded.

Lately, it seems as if American Idol singers have been the choice for pre-game singing duties.  Here's a list that chronicles the national anthem singers for each Super Bowl.

Super Bowl I - University of Arizona and University of Michigan Marching Bands
Super Bowl II - Grambling University Marching Band
Super Bowl III - Anita Bryant
Super Bowl IV - Al Hirt
Super Bowl V - Tommy Loy (trumpeter)
Super Bowl VI - U.S. Air Force Academy Chorale
Super Bowl VII - Little Angels Children's Choir of Chicago's Holy Angels Church
Super Bowl VIII - Charley Pride
Super Bowl IX - Grambling State University Marching Band
Super Bowl X - Tom Sullivan
Super Bowl XI - Vikki Carr (sang "America the Beautiful")
Super Bowl XII - Phyllis Kelly of Northeast Louisiana State University
Super Bowl XIII - The Colgate Thirteen
Super Bowl XIV - Cheryl Ladd
Super Bowl XV - Wyatt Metty
Super Bowl XVI - Diana Ross
Super Bowl XVII - Leslie Easterbrook
Super Bowl XVIII - Barry Manilow
Super Bowl XIX - San Francisco Boys Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus
Super Bowl XX - Wynton Marsalis
Super Bowl XXI - Neil Diamond
Super Bowl XXII - Herb Alpert (trumpeter)
Super Bowl XXIII - Billy Joel
Super Bowl XXIV - Aaron Neville
Super Bowl XXV - Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra
Super Bowl XXVI - Harry Connick, Jr.
Super Bowl XXVII - Garth Brooks
Super Bowl XXVIII - Natalie Cole
Super Bowl XXIX - Kathie Lee Gifford
Super Bowl XXX - Vanessa Williams
Super Bowl XXXI - Luther Vandross
Super Bowl XXXII - Jewel
Super Bowl XXXIII - Cher
Super Bowl XXXIV - Faith Hill
Super Bowl XXXV - Backstreet Boys
Super Bowl XXXVI - Mariah Carey
Super Bowl XXXVII - Dixie Chicks
Super Bowl XXXVIII - Beyonce Knowles
Super Bowl XXXIX - Choirs of the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
Super Bowl XL - Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin with Dr. John (pianist)
Super Bowl XLI - Billy Joel
Super Bowl XLII - Jordin Sparks
Super Bowl XLIII - Jennifer Hudson
Super Bowl XLIV - Carrie Underwood
Super Bowl XLV - Christina Aguilera

Which one was your favorite?

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Comments

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Interesting list. Vickie Carr singing America the Beautiful must have raised a few eyebrows, eh?

Maybe you follow the halftime shows, too? Worst one ever(?) was Michael Jackson introducing himself as "King of Pop" ... I thought, "who invents a nickname for himself and crowns himself king, and who calls it 'pop' anyway?"
My post on Sunday is going to be about Half-Time shows. :)

The Michael Jackson one was just weird. Remember when he first popped out and just stood there motionless like a statue for what seemed like forever?
Cool. I remember Houston's version of this. But it still doesn't come up to Jose Feliciano's version at the World Series many, many years ago (as far as I'm concerned)
They seem to be partial to old Billy, but I think he's in rehab this year.
Even though it was lip-synched, Whitney wins. And remember, the Giants won that game so it was even more memorable.
I didn't know Cheryl Ladd could sing.
Wow, I wrote this a year ago and now it's getting the most views. Rest in peace, Ms. Houston, and thanks for all the music you gave us.