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Days before Lady Gaga flawlessly performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl 50 and pumped patriotism into the hearts of millions of Americans, she sat down for an intimate interview about her feelings leading up to the performance.

Gaga said that Whitney Houston’s performance at the 1991 Super Bowl inspired her and was her favorite performance. She confessed that as a little girl, she would imitate Houston’s performance in her childhood home.

“The more I would sing it, my dad would say, ‘you’re getting pretty good kid’,” Gaga said. “So, to be here now and sing it to America is just wonderful.”

She also revealed that the meaning behind the words of the song is what inspired her performance at Super Bowl 50.

No matter what you go through, the same as our country, that metaphor of ‘but the flag was still there’ is so powerful for me every time. I’m really singing it from the heart and I’m also singing it very true to the way it was written because that’s when I think it sounds its most majestic. There’s no greater honor than standing next to the Color Guard, the Flag, the Army and the Military and singing the National Anthem.

(h/t Q Political)

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