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Sunday
Feb032013

Super Bowl National Anthem Singers: A History 

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesThis Sunday, Alicia Keys will take the stage to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, and by doing so, she'll make history.  According to the NFL, this will mark Alicia's third performance overall at the Super Bowl, more than any other performer.  She previously sang "America the Beautiful" at Super Bowl 39 in 2005, and then returned in 2008 to perform as part of the pregame show for Super Bowl 42.

Alicia extends the streak of having a female performer belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" at the game: the last five anthem singers have all been women, and out of those five, four of them were American Idol alums: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Carrie Underwood.  The last time a male sang the anthem was in 2007, at Super Bowl 41, when Billy Joel did the honors.

Billy's performance was also history-making.  Performing the anthem at the Super Bowl is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience for an artist, but Billy's one of only two artists ever to have done it twice.  In addition to Super Bowl 41, he also did the honors at Super Bowl 23 back in 1989.  The other artist who's done it twice is Aaron Neville, in 1990 and in 2006.

For a historical perspective, here's a list of everyone who's ever performed or sung the National Anthem at the Super Bowl:

1 -- Universities of Arizona & Michigan Bands (1967)
2 -- Grambling University Band (1968)
3 -- Anita Bryant (1969)
4 -- Al Hirt (trumpeter) (1970)
5 -- Tommy Loy (trumpeter) (1971)
6 -- U.S. Air Force Academy Chorale (1972)
7 -- Little Angels of Holy Angels Church (Chicago) (1973)
8 -- Charley Pride (1974)
9 -- Grambling University Band (1975)
10 -- Tom Sullivan (1976)
11 -- Vicki Carr (sang "America the Beautiful") (1977)
12 -- Phyllis Kelly of NE Louisiana State University (1978)
13 -- The Colgate Thirteen (1979)
14 -- Cheryl Ladd (1980)
15 -- Helen O'Connell (1981)
16 -- Diana Ross (1982)
17 -- Leslie Easterbrook (1983)
18 -- Barry Manilow (1984)
19 -- Children's Choir of San Francisco (1985)
20 -- Wynton Marsalis (1986)
21 -- Neil Diamond (1987)
22 -- Herb Alpert (1988)
23 -- Billy Joel (1989)
24 -- Aaron Neville (1990)
25 -- Whitney Houston (1991)
26 -- Harry Connick Jr. (1992)
27 -- Garth Brooks (1993)
28 -- Natalie Cole (1994)
29 -- Kathie Lee Gifford (1995)
30 -- Vanessa Williams (1996)
31 -- Luther Vandross (1997)
32 -- Jewel (1998)
33 -- Cher (1999)
34 -- Faith Hill (2000)
35 -- Backstreet Boys; “America the Beautiful” performed by Ray Charles (2001)
36 -- Mariah Carey (2002)
37 -- Dixie Chicks (2003)
38 -- Beyoncé Knowles (2004)
39 -- Combined Choirs of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Army Herald Trumpets (2005)
40 -- Aaron Neville with Dr. John And Aretha Franklin (2006)
41 -- Billy Joel (2007)
42 -- Jordin Sparks (2008)
43 -- Jennifer Hudson (2009)
44 -- Carrie Underwood (2010)
45 -- Christina Aguilera (2011)
46 -- Kelly Clarkson (2012)
47 -- Alicia Keys (2013)

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