The 2023 Super Bowl might have been football's biggest night, but there were also several performances that put artists in the spotlight. From Rihanna's historic halftime performance, which marked her first live musical performance in years, to Sheryl Lee Ralph's majestic rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," to a beautiful national anthem performance by Chris Stapleton, the musicians were certainly a highlight last night.
Every year marks a new approach to the unifying song, whether in national anthem or otherwise. While there have been a few missteps here and there, most interpretations have been widely applauded, but which execution is the best?
Here's a list of the top ten Super Bowl performances featuring "The Star Spangled Banner."
10.Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church
The pairing of Southern country rock singer Eric Church and the glossy R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan might have sounded terrible on paper, but the duo produced a stunning cover for the 2021 Super Bowl. Sullivan showed off her signature runs, while Church kept the pace with some soulful country and his guitar.
Faith Hill is a 9.
Faith Hill, a country music icon, demonstrated once again why she remains one of the most successful singers worldwide at the 2000 Super Bowl. By ditching all the rules at home and opting for a simple outfit and her golden voice, Hill shook the stadium with her national anthem cover. Her piercing voices rang throughout the performance, and she took things a step further by effortlessly belting out the closing credits.
Luther Vandross, 8.
Luther Vandross, a music legend, gave a different spin to the national anthem in 1997, as he sang the song with so much joy and energy, enthralling the audience with his R&B take on the melody.
Lady Gaga is 7.
Lady Gaga performed the national anthem with such power and force as to wreak havoc on the crowd. The cover is widely considered one of the finest ever.
Cher is a 6.
Cher was already more than a household name at the time, having been a household name for over three decades. Nonetheless, she used every inch of her distinctive voice to enthuse the crowd once more. She wore a more subtle outfit for her cover, ensuring that her voice was the star of the moment.
Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance of the national anthem took place in her hometown of Houston, Texas, so she understood why she stepped out. Right at the early moments of her solo career, she decided to etch her name in the history books by shining vocally. A decade later, she'd stun the crowd once more as the halftime show performer.
Chris Stapleton, 4.
Chris Stapleton has never chosen to use dramatic flair to win over a crowd, and that's why his 2023 Super Bowl cover of the national anthem was one of the greatest yet. Stapleton sang while playing his guitar and caused a couple of tears from those in the audience, including the players.
The Chicks chose an angelic rendition of the national anthem in 2004, displaying their legendary three-part harmonies while backed by strings. Their voices were undoubtedly the stars of the night, as their harmonies echoed throughout the stadium.
Mariah Carey is a well-known actress.
Carey performed the national anthem in 2002 at a sensitive time when the country was grieving. Her warm rendition was the ideal way to comfort the crowd.
Whitney Houston is the first woman to win an award.
Whitney Houston's national anthem cover is often hailed as the finest "The Star Spangled Banner" cover of all time; she remained unrelenting, charging the crowd with her pure joy and beauty.