Beyonce vs. Whitney: Battle of the "Banner"

Categories: Miles-tones


  • Age: 27
  • Accessory: Headband
  • Historical Context: Super Bowl XXV; first Gulf War
  • Arrangement: Symphonic
  • Accompaniment: Live orchestra
  • Lyrical Accuracy: 100 percent
  • Phrasing: More deliberate than anthem is usually sung
  • Dynamics: Less range than Beyoncé, but still pronounced
  • Percentage on Key: 100 percent
  • Mistakes: None
  • Controversy: Did she lip-sync?
  • Crescendo (glasses shattered out of possible five): Four
  • Aftermath: Houston's label, Arista Records, rushed the live recording of "Banner" into stores after the game as a single. Her rendition reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and today is widely considered the definitive version of the anthem.

Winner: Sorry, B. Whitney still owns the national anthem. In your heart, you know it's true.

Trivia Answer: The New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills, 20-19, in the closest game in Super Bowl history. Bills placekicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal as time ran out.

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Truth be told...the very best rendition I've ever heard of "The Star Bangled Banner" LIVE was done by Barbara Johnson Tucker of Houston, Texas.


And now the controversy is, "Who's studio performance of the anthem which was then lip-sync'd in front of a national/global audience was better?"

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