Twenty-one years ago, on Jan. 30, 2000, Faith Hill had the distinct honor of opening Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta by singing the National Anthem.
Hill’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is widely considered to be one of the greatest Super Bowl anthem performances of all time. The vocalist took a leisurely approach to the song, stretching out each lyric for maximum impact as bagpipers and then an orchestra backed her up.
She ended the song holding out the last lyric (“And the home of the brave”) using a strong, clear belting voice. Hill was clearly particularly proud of nailing the last note, as she pumped her fist and cheered as fireworks exploded.
Hill isn’t the only country superstar to have performed the National Anthem before the big game. In 1974, Charley Pride opened the game with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while Garth Brooks took a turn in 1993. A decade later, in 2003, Dixie Chicks opened the game with the anthem, while Carrie Underwood did the honors in 2010, Kelly Clarkson grabbed the spotlight performance slot in 2012 and Luke Bryan sang the anthem in 2017. On Feb. 7, Eric Church will join with Jazmine Sullivan for the National Anthem at Super Bowl LV.
During the week of her Super Bowl appearance, Hill was riding high on the charts: “Breathe” was spending its sixth week atop the country singles chart and sitting at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 on its way up to an eventual No. 2 peak.
As for the game itself: The St Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans, 23-16.
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