Roseanne Barr murdered it (in a bad way) and never should have attempted to sing it. Were we supposed to take this seriously? There was a huge backlash afterwards by many people who were offended and appalled. I think it was intended to be funny, but the joke fell flat yet not as flat as those notes. In the words of Randy Jackson, it was pitchy dawg. Spitting on the ground afterwards wasn't necessary.
Christina Aguilera is known for her powerhouse pipes and her feisty attitude yet none of that matters if you can't get the words right. She left people everywhere looking at each other with curled lips and raised eyebrows singing the song over in their heads to figure out what just happened. She was focusing on all the additional runs and riffs she wanted to incorporate. That's what happened. Mixing up the words to your own song is called a remix; mixing up the words to The Star-Spangled Banner is a travesty.
Alicia Keys gave her interpretation of the National Anthem at this year's Superbowl. Sitting at the piano she slowed it down and put her trademark R&B sound on the end of every phrase. It was nice, but not a rendition that I would find myself going back to. For me, it sounded more like a track from one of her albums which if she was going for more of a non-traditional approach, mission accomplished.
Beyonce found herself in headlines recently over her performance at the Inauguration for (allegedly) lip syncing. Who cares? We all know Beyonce can sing and that it was her voice on the song so what does it matter if she performed it live or not. If it were her concert where people were paying out of pocket, driving hours and rearranging their lives for a evening to hear her sing then she better sing live (and not pull a Britney). However, this wasn't about her. In fact, the event was so much more than her. If she wanted her vocals to be spot on and not take the chance of them being affected by the weather or nerves then so be it. She also sang it again at the Superbowl Press conference... this time there was no question it was live. I guess that's her way of putting her
Mariah Carey sang it as if it were written specifically for her taking chances with runs and making choices with note selections that are unparallelled (the way she she went up with "land of the free" was shut-your-face-slap-your-mama amazing). It's worth mentioning this performance came at a time where she was forced to prove herself amidst the fading sparkle of Glitter... and prove herself she did.
Whitney Houston nailed this song... there's no question about it... every note is executed flawlessly. Yes she's wearing a wind suit set and a weird headband/sweatband thing, but when you sound like that who cares what you're wearing?
Thoughts? Who do you think sang it best? The worst? Feel free to add to this list!