WE’RE GOING THERE: Lady Gaga’s National Anthem Was The Best Since Whitney
I'm just going to put it out there, without qualifiers: Lady Gaga's performance of the Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday was the best top-to-bottom rendition of our national anthem at a Super Bowl since Whitney Houston's legendary version in 1991.
Houston's Super Bowl XXV performance has long been the gold standard for the national anthem. Not only was it as flawless as is humanly possible, but it was delivered at a time that the nation was struggling. It was healing and poetic and perfect and basically every singer that's alive right now was inspired by it. So let's just say she gets the all-time win on that front.
Still, if we all agree that there will probably never be another Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV -level performance, then we should also agree that Gaga came about as close as anybody's going to get.
At this point, no one doubted Lady Gaga's ability to deliver vocally. She's a classically trained musician who has come a long way since her early days of meat dresses and publicity stunts, revealing her incredibly strong and soulful voice in many a live radio performance; and even more impressively, on an entire album with crooning- legend Tony Bennett.
Yet this was a knock out rendition even by diva standards. She started out powerfully and with conviction and carried that through, keeping a realistic pace and resisting the natural inclination of so many popstars to carry every note for way too long. Much of the song was delivered in a nearly-operatic manner. The whole thing felt as momentous as it's always supposed to but rarely does.
There was more to the legendary nature of her performance than just the singing, though.
First of all, she nailed the outfit. Just like Whitney she went full on Patriotic, which is 100% of the time the best way to go when performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Anyone who doesn't deck themselves in red, white and blue for that moment is just missing the mark.
But as casual and unassuming as Whitney's tracksuit was, that's how flamboyant and fantastic Gaga's bright-red, sequined suit was. Her nails where a shimmering blue. She was wearing platform sandals emblazoned with the American flag. And if her huge, southern belle-hair wasn't a blatant homage to Dolly Parton then I don't what is.
Even Gaga's makeup was next level. Her eyelids were covered in so many festive red rhinestones that she was clearly having a hard time opening them. That's dedication. She just seemed so excited to be there and be a part of everything, and that energy is exactly what is needed to kick off the biggest party night of the year.
Gaga for the win.
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