Best national anthem performance ever: Whitney Houston or Jennifer Hudson? | The Tylt

Best national anthem performance ever: Whitney Houston or Jennifer Hudson?

In the wake of Fergie's national anthem fumble, people are asking—whose performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was the greatest of all time? For many, Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl performance is the absolute gold standard. Both mighty and exquisite, it became a Top 10 radio hit. But others say Jennifer Hudson's rendition is the most iconic; unlike Whitney, JHud sang live (yeah, we said it). Whose performance was better? 🎤 🇺🇸 🎤

FINAL RESULTS
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Best national anthem performance ever: Whitney Houston or Jennifer Hudson?
A festive crown for the winner
#WhitneysAnthem
#JennifersAnthem
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Best national anthem performance ever: Whitney Houston or Jennifer Hudson?
#WhitneysAnthem
#JennifersAnthem
#WhitneysAnthem

A 27-year-old Whitney Houston sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. She was at the peak of her vocal power, and she performed at an emotional moment for the country. It was only 10 days into the Gulf War. 

Whitney's critics—and yes, she does have some—complained that her version was pre-recorded. But the song's arranger argued lip-syncing was necessary because of the size of the arena. Amazingly, Houston recorded the notoriously challenging melody in one single take. She was "calmly joyful" as she performed in front of 70,000 people, wrote journalist Danyel Smith, and "people were weeping in the stands, weeping in their homes."

Most singers want out of that song. Most reach awkwardly for one note or another, or miss it altogether. It's not just that the song is a difficult one. It's difficult in front of people who want to feel the pride in the storybook words....Whitney's version made it all absolute, for a moment.
#JennifersAnthem

But though J Hud's rendition is the dark horse in the race, fans give her the edge because she did it live. Erik Malinowski says her version is the best ever:

An underappreciated classic of our own time. Hudson’s emotion, mixed with the updated, rock-and-soul-infused arrangement is like a slow burn that builds to a bonfire by the final note. If they played the audio of this performance every year instead of bringing in fresh blood, no one ought to complain.
FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Best national anthem performance ever: Whitney Houston or Jennifer Hudson?
A festive crown for the winner
#WhitneysAnthem
#JennifersAnthem