Whenever we think of music at athletic events, our thoughts typically turn to our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.” It’s an honor to be asked to sing at any coveted sporting event, but the Super Bowl is the crowned jewel of them all. In 1977, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2007, a performance of “America the Beautiful” was also added to the patriotic tributes. Then in 2009, it was established as a regular part of the pregame celebration.
To say Faith Hill is a football fan might be an understatement.
In 2000, Faith performed the national anthem at Super Bowl 34 in Atlanta between the St. Louis Rams and her hometown Tennessee Titans. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Titans. In 2007, the country girl from Mississippi became the voice of “Sunday Night Football,” wailing their theme song every week until Carrie Underwood took over in 2013. Then in 2009, the year “America the Beautiful” was made a permanent fixture of the Super Bowl, it was Faith Hill that was chosen to sing it.
Standing on the field at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl 43, Faith’s country drawl took on a soulful feel with the song’s slow, low verses and soaring chorus. With a local choir providing background vocals, the song took on an almost gospel feel reminiscent of a Ray Charles performance.
The Steelers inched past the Cardinals 27 to 23 with just seconds left in the game, making it one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history.