The Best (And Worst) Super Bowl National Anthems

The Backstreet Boys performed the National Anthem before the Ravens and Giants played Super Bowl 35.

Pop Culture

Francis Scott Key could never have imagined that when he penned the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry in 1814” that NFL betting aficionados, more than two centuries later, would wager significant amounts of money on how long it took to recite his words. Of course, Key’s poem would later be set to music and become known as the “Star Spangled Banner” a.k.a. the United States National Anthem. But you can’t bet on everything at the Super Bowl, like what the best Super Bowl National Anthem is — or the worst. So we’re here to fill you in.


Country music singer Mickey Guyton will perform the anthem before Super Bowl 56 and as per the norm the best online sportsbooks have posted various prop bets tied to the celebrated pregame moment. The most popular “Star Spangled Banner” prop bet is how long it will take Guyton to belt out the first note to the last syllable of brave.

National Anthem Run Time Odds
Over 1 minute 35 seconds -120
Under 1 minute 35 seconds -120

Odds via BetOnline.

It’s worth noting that Guyton sang the National Anthem during a Memorial Day celebration back in May 2021. It took her 1 minute and 25 seconds. If you’re researching Super Bowl 56 betting props, be sure to tuck that little nugget away.

National Anthems vs Halftime Show Critiques

One could make a strong argument that Super Bowl halftime shows endured stronger criticism than Super Bowl National Anthem performances. You know the majority of the country over a certain age is ready to fire off “Who?!?!?” once Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar hit the stage as if that demo has been living under a rock since Nixon was in office.

However, we also know that certain renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” prior to major sporting events remain pop culture cringe moments in time. Who could forget Carl Lewis’ rousing rendition of the anthem prior to a Nets-Bulls game?

Followed by ESPN Sportscenter anchor Charlie Steiner’s “Francis Scott Off-Key” one-liner for the ages.

Since the first Super Bowl, many have performed the anthem, but only a choice few rose to the occasion and captured the moment.

What is the Most Viral Super Bowl National Anthem of All Time?

Which Super Bowl national anthems resonated the most with the audience, and even people who didn’t tune into the game? These are some of the most popular anthems performed.

Whitney Houston

  • Super Bowl XXV (25), 1991

Could you imagine if Twitter viral trends were around when Whitney Houston belted out the National Anthem before Super Bowl XXV back in 1991. As many remember, the first Persian Gulf War had recently started and the shared sense of patriotism was at a fever pitch. Houston’s rendition was later released as a single and sold to raise funds for military families. Some pundits argue her version should be played prior to all sporting events because it’ll never be topped.

Best Super Bowl National Anthems

Faith Hill

  • Super Bowl XXXIV (34), 2000

The country singer belted out the “Star Spangled Banner” prior to Super Bowl XXXIV featuring the “Greatest Show on Turf” Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans. Hill would return to the Super Bowl pregame festivities in 2009 when she sang “America the Beautiful” before the Steelers beat the Cardinals.

Jennifer Hudson

  • Super Bowl XLIII (43), 2009

Some dock points from Hudson’s Super Bowl XLIII performance because it was pre-recorded and lip-synced, but the former “American Idol” finalist earned much respect as it was her first public appearance since tragedy struck her family a few months prior. Hudson’s “National Anthem” was sung three months after her mother, brother and nephew were killed by a former brother-in-law. It was a sign of true strength and perseverance in a time of grief.

Luther Vandross

  • Super Bowl XXXI (31),  1997

Better known for his March Madness smash hit “One Shining Moment,” Vandross took to the mic prior to Super Bowl XXXI between the Packers and Patriots. The slow jam rendition encouraged fewer stadium lights and more candles.

Demi Lovato

  • Super Bowl LIV (54), 2020

It’s one thing to be honored with the privilege of singing the anthem before a Super Bowl, it’s quite another to call your shot nine years earlier, but that’s what Demi Lovato did.

Mickey Guyton will challenge Lovato for the quickest National Anthem of the past nine Super Bowls. The pop singer belted out her rendition in 1 minute and 49 seconds to cash the sports betting UNDER on the prop bet.

Worst Super Bowl National Anthems

Christina Aguilera

  • Super Bowl XLV (45), 2011
Christina Aguilera Super Bowl National Anthem

Miss Aguilera forgot the words to the National Anthem.

The “Genie In A Bottle” performer definitely wishes she had this moment in the spotlight back. She forgot the words. She, um, forgot the words to the “Star Spangled Banner.” The one job she had prior to Super Bowl XLV. *shrug*

She later released a statement, “I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”

{Insert 1977 Super Bowl Artist Here}

  • Super Bowl XI (11), 1977

Could you imagine a major sporting event passing up the opportunity to book a national recording artist to belt out the “Star Spangled Banner” these days? Well, that’s what happened prior to Super Bowl XI back in 1977 when the Raiders crushed the Vikings 32-14.

1977 is the only time in Super Bowl history that the National Anthem was not sung, it was replaced by Vikki Carr singing “America the Beautiful.” Super Bowl XI checked in at No. 36 in our All-Time Super Bowl Rankings feature.

Aretha Franklin / Aaron Neville

  • Super Bowl XL (40), 2006

All due respect to the “Queen of Soul,” but sometimes less is more. The Super Bowl National Anthem thrives under certain conditions and that typically means one singer. The duet between Franklin and Neville before Super Bowl XL was a rare miss for two talented artists.

Alicia Keys

  • Super Bowl XLVII (47), 2013

Full of soul and powerful, Keys performance was solid, but it was extremely long-winded. Of the past 15 Super Bowl National Anthems, only Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan’s got within 20 seconds of Alicia’s 2 minute and 36 rendition of the anthem. To put that in context, if Key’s “Star Spangled Banner” was charged Super Bowl 30-second ad rates ahead of the Bengals-Rams matchup this year, it would cost her $32.5-million and change.

Check out our exclusive Super Bowl 56 betting guide for the latest futures, props, and places to bet. 

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in

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