Whitney Houston’s 1991 Performance of The ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Still Gives Me Goosebumps YouTube: ABC News
YouTube: ABC News

Whitney Houston is known as one of the greatest artists of all time. Her ability to sing the highest note possible is what brought her stardom in 1985 with her debut self-titled album. But it was 1991, during her Superbowl performance of The Star-Spangled Banner, that set off her career becoming one of the biggest voices on Earth.

I’m not going to lie, this brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. Confession, I still cry watching it to this day. It’s easy to say that no one can compete with Whitney Houston. At the NFL’s Super Bowl XXV between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills, Houston performed one of the most incredible performances of The Star-Spangled Banner to date with 750 million people watching that night. The big game came at a restless time for the United States as it had just entered the Gulf War in order to liberate Kuwait, and just 10 days prior we dropped the first bomb on Iraq in what was called Operation Desert Storm.

So although we were walking on eggshell due to the circumstances going around in the country, the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay Florida was kicked off with a very patriotic performance by Whitney Houston. Sure enough her rendition of the National Anthem brought Americans tears of love, hope, and gratitude. Wearing red white and blue, Houston, who was 27 at that time, starts off by waving at the crowd who were cheering their life away, as she showcased her amazing vocal range for her version of the National Anthem. With a Florida Orchestra playing in the background, the singer begins to sing those famous words, “oh say can you see” which made it apparent that the superstar was about to do something special.

The singer-songwriter went on to sing the song, hitting every high note flawlessly. You can see the crowd and US soldiers saluting singing along as a camera and goes to a close-up on Houston’s face. Not only does her voice radiate through the speakers, but you can feel a sense of patriarchy and calmness throughout her performance as she flashes her smile belting out for the audience. As she gets to the words “and the rockets red glare,” Houston hits notes all singers only dream of.


Honestly, it’s hard to believe that any human can sing this way, especially at a sporting event, but she did and so gracefully. She took the song to a whole other level, with her voice radiating through the Tampa stadium speakers showing us why she deserved all those Grammy Awards. If Houston’s version doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what will, her voice literally touches your soul. I’m sure many will always remember her performance because well, it was an epic one. As expected, at the end of the song several spectators go absolutely bonkers as a Fighters Jet flew over the stadium.


Houston’s performance went down as one of the most memorable and important moments in Super Bowl history. Safe to say that Houston was so breathtaking to watch that even though the star isn’t around anymore, people can still connect with her music every day. Some artists have musical abilities out of this world and she was definitely one of them. Houston rendition paved the way for other artists to continue the tradition, such as Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato to name a few.

Can’t get enough of Super Bowl National Anthem performances? Here are some close runner ups definitely worth watching.


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Silke  Jasso About the author:
Silke Jasso is a bilingual editor, writer, producer, and journalist specialized in online media. Born in Laredo Texas, her previous works include LareDOS Newspaper where she was an editor and writer and Entravision Communications where she was a Co-Anchor and Multi-Media Journalist for Fox39 News and Univision 27.
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