One of the most celebrated, and honored, musicians in American history passed away Feb. 11, 2012, at the age of 48. Aug. 9, 2013, would have been her 50th birthday. Pictured: Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before a game with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills prior to Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991 in Tampa, Florida.
In the wake of her untimely death, New York football fans will no doubt remember Whitney Houston fondly for her electrifying version of the Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV.
President George H. Bush had ordered the commencement of Operation Desert Storm only 10 days before when Americans tuned in to watch the New York Giants play the Buffalo Bills for the world championship.
Giants coach Bill Parcells told the NY Daily News “She was on our side of the field, basically standing right in front of me… It was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard.” Parcells went on to say “You know how you can tell how memorable something is? By how much it affects you even when you’re as preoccupied as we all were getting ready to play that game. When it was over, we did the only thing you can do after you hear something like that — you applauded.”
The Giants did more than that, they went on to win their second Super Bowl that night by a score of 20-19, and Whitney’s performance went on to be credited with stirring the deeply felt patriotism of an uneasy nation in a time of war.
Her rendition of the national anthem that night is still regarded as one of the best performances of the Star Spangled Banner in music history. In fact the response was so overwhelming that only days later Whitney’s record label released the performance as a single. The record went on to sell over a million copies and all profits went to charity.