The 12 best performances of the national anthem since Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
When you think of the musicians who perform the national anthem, one name immediately comes to mind for most: Jimi Hendrix.
That’s right, the greatest guitarist to ever walk the Earth also performed the most inspiring (and most copied) rendition of the anthem on his guitar at Woodstock in 1969.
But what other musicians took on the anthem and knocked it out of the proverbial park? Without further ado, let’s dive into the 12 best performances of the national anthem since Hendrix.
1. Whitney Houston
Was there ever a better singer than Whitney Houston? The singer could put out notes as loud, full and fat as anyone seemingly effortlessly. She brought those talents to the Super Bowl Anthem in 1991 and instantly associated with the song.
Queen B has sung the national anthem many times, including at the Super Bowl in 2004 and later during President Obama’s presidential inauguration in 2013. Check out her rendition for the White House below, in which she demonstrates that it has more pipes than a building in New York.
The group previously known as The Dixie Chicks performed the national anthem for the Super Bowl XXXVII, bringing their stunning three-part harmonies to the song. That’s enough to melt your heart into a billion patriotic pieces. Check out their studio version below.
Like Beyonce, Lady Gaga has performed the anthem at several high-profile events, from Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration to the superbowl in past years. Check out Gaga’s rendition for Biden at the White House below, during which she demonstrates her brilliance for the big moment.
5. Jennifer Hudson
Following the death of three close family members, Jennifer Hudson made her first public appearance singing the national anthem for the 2008 Super Bowl. It was an emotional moment for the entertainer who had experienced untold tragedy. Check it out below killing it in front of thousands and millions of others on TV.
6. The City of Boston
After the tragic Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the city was rocked. One of the areas of life that has allowed the city to regain confidence is the world of sport. This came to fruition at a Boston Bruins hockey game that year. Rene Rancourt, the team’s longtime vocalist, began the rendition. But the thousands of people present took it back. It was quite a while.
The famous makeup band performed the anthem while on tour in 1992. The band then decided to put the instrumental version on their album, Alive IIIwhich you can see below in all of its rocking prowess.
Cher performed the 1999 Super Bowl anthem. Perhaps no one brought more vocal theater to the song than the glamorous musician. His version remains one of the most popular in Big Game history. Check it out below.
9. Marvin Gaye
The super sweet and soulful singer performed his version at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983 and his version remains perhaps the most beloved rendition of all time. Gaye took his time, offering his epic pipes to the song in a way many have since sought to emulate. What a star.
10. Diana Ross
Diana Ross was the first major pop star to sing the national anthem and she did so at the Super Bowl in 1982. Before her, the National Football League sought to recruit marching bands or other entertainers. But with Ross knocking her out of the park, she set the standard for many to come after her.
11. Mariah Carey
In many ways, it’s Mariah’s world and we’re all just paying rent. The singer who can smash glass with her pristine voice delivered a stunning rendition of the national anthem at the 2002 Super Bowl. Check it out below and try not to let it melt your heart.
12. Luther Vandross
In 1997, Luther Vandross practically reinvented what it meant to sing the anthem, bringing incredible rhythm and singing prowess to the song. His offering is what many singers dream of. Yet he succeeded in real life. Check out his version below. It’s an A+ to be sure.