1. Leontyne says

    The national anthem is not to be performed.

    One gives a rendition of the anthem, not a performance.

    It is not about the singer, but about the song.

    That’s one reason it’s not appropriate to applaud after the singing of the anthem.

    Whitney did not try to turn it into some kind of soul thang. She’s one of the few pop singers who have ever gotten it right.

  2. AriesMatt says

    There’s a lot to be said for performing the National Anthem straight up as it is written, but one can’t deny Alicia’s version was beautifully sung without runs all over the place. Thumbs up IMHO.

  3. Tatts says

    Yuck. Far too artsy.

    And, really…it’s the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Could they not have found an American-made piano in all of New Orleans for her to play? Did it have to have the Yamaha logo splashed across it? No Baldwins? No Steinways? No Mason & Hamlins? Did nobody think about the symbolism (which is the only reason to sing the song in the first place)?


  4. Dback says

    Considering “The Star Spangled Banner” regularly lends itself to abuse so easily due to its difficult melody, I thought this was a stellar performance. The chords were gorgeous, and unlike other performers, Keys really seemed to be thinking about the lyrics, not showing off with runs all over the place. Brava! (However, I still think “America the Beautiful” should always be allowed as an acceptable “alternate” national anthem.)

  5. BenR says

    Although I do think that a psychotic murderous demi-godess performing the national anthem would definitely be entertaining. Although probably not appropriate.

  6. Stefan says

    I thought this was the performance highlight of the night. It was one of the more understated versions I’ve heard–a little embellishment, but not the crazy melisma abuse of Aguilera and others. And from personal experience: that song is tough to perform seated.

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