Home Music Music Lists

The Most Memorable Super Bowl National Anthems

From Cher and Mariah Carey to Whitney Houston, here are some of the most star-spangled moments in big game history

The Super Bowl is an enormous night for international television. Each year, more than 100 million people are estimated to watch the game, its advertisements and its halftime show. It all begins with the performance of the National Anthem, a tradition that has been carried out by some of the greatest voices in pop music history. The song isn’t easy to deliver — as Christina Aguilera discovered — but there have been some exceptional performances. Click through to see the best star-spangled renditions. Editor’s Note: While we have tried to supply embedded video for each of these iconic performances, many of them must be viewed on YouTube due to restrictions, so viewers may be directed to click out to the site.

Singers Aretha Franklin, left, and Aaron Neville perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Singers Aretha Franklin, left, and Aaron Neville perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006, in Detroit. ()

Michael Conroy/AP Photo

Aretha Franklin, Aaron Neville and Dr. John (2006)

In a tribute to New Orleans, then recovering from Hurrican Katrina, the soul diva shared verses with the celebrated vocalist from the Neville Brothers, as his fellow New Orleans native, Dr. John, lent the anthem a jazz-tinged piano groove.

Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson sings the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, in Tampa, FlaSuper Bowl XLIII Football, Tampa, USA

Winslow Townson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Jennifer Hudson (2009)

The Academy Award-winning star of Dreamgirls held nothing back in her 2009 performance, delivering a controlled yet astonishingly powerful take on the anthem. Like many performances, hers was allegedly pre-recorded.

Country singer Carrie Underwood performs the National Anthem before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints in MiamiSuper Bowl Football, Miami, USA

David J Phillip/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Carrie Underwood (2010)

Another American Idol alumnus, Carrie Underwood, kept up Hudson’s strong momentum at the next year’s game, offering one of the most country-tinged renditions to date.

Singer Cher performs the National Anthem before Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida.  (Al Messerschmidt via AP)

Al Messerschmidt/AP

Cher (1999)

She left the Bob Mackie headdress at home, but Cher’s throaty take on “The Star-Spangled Banner” still had the pop icon’s unmistakable style – not to mention some impressive notes.

BEYONCE Entertainer Beyonce Knowles sings the national anthem before Super Bowl XXXVIII, at Reliant Stadium in HoustonSUPER BOWL, HOUSTON, USA

Elise Amendola/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Beyonce (2004)

Ms. Knowles gave the full symphonic treatment to the National Anthem, performing with an ensemble of woodwinds and brass. Her vocals were the perfect, respectful accompaniment.

Faith Hill sings "America the Beautiful" before the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Tampa, FlaSuper Bowl XLIII Football, Tampa, USA

Faith Hill sings "America the Beautiful" before the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Tampa, Fla Super Bowl XLIII Football, Tampa, USA

David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock

Faith Hill (2000)

One of the best Anthems in Super Bowl history was delivered by country star Faith Hill, who was also joined by sign language specialists. Her traditional delivery was moving and sophisticated.

Dixie Chicks during Super Bowl XXXVII - Pregame Show at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Dixie Chicks (2003)

As only the second pop group in recent memory to deliver the anthem (the Backstreet Boys did it in 2001), the country trio hit some truly ethereal harmonies in 2003.

Show Comments