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Whitney Houston 1991: Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV


<p>In December 1990, when Whitney Houston was announced as the performer of
"The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV, Houston knew instantly how she wanted to interpret the tune there—with jazz chords and soulful gospel rhythms. So, Rickey Minor, her longtime musical director, suggested taking the song out of standard, waltz tempo—three quarters time—and add an extra beat per measure, which would allow Houston to open up her lungs and 'breathe'.
Two week before the Super Bowl, Houston heard the arrangement, played by The Florida Orchestra and recorded at <span class="mw-redirect">Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center</span> earlier in January, for the first time. And about ten days later, she recorded a breathtaking game-day master at a California studio. Minor recalled that she truly embraced the song. But not everybody agreed. Some National Football League (NFL) officials feared the rendition was too flamboyant for wartime. Minor told <em>USA Today</em> that "They thought the harmonies were too different, that it was
sacrilegious." Bob Best, the Super Bowl's pregame show producer since the early 1980s, added that "Their hang-up was that it wasn't easy to sing to. I disagreed wholeheartedly." Four days before the game, NFL officials ordered Best to phone Houston's father, John, and ask if she would record another version. The answer was no. Best said that "I held that phone so far away from my ear." Yet, when Houston stepped onto the field, Minor was filled with anxiety: "I thought, 'What if everybody boos?'" Two weeks later, the single was a big hit on the <em>Billboard</em> charts.</p><p><a href="…; target="_blank">— Wikipedia<br /></a></p>

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