If you’re a professional singer and you’re asked to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl or the NBA All-Star Game or at one of the games in the NBA Finals, the NHL Finals or the World Series, do yourself and your audience's ears a favor: rehearse. Many times.
The temporarily-reunited Destiny’s Child sang the song at today’s NBA All-Star Game and, aside from wowing all of the male on-lookers by looking good (you go, girls), they sang a harmony-laden and excellent version of the Banner—they didn’t just rely on the fact they are very good singers; it was obvious that they practiced, over and over again.
In contrast, the duet between Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin at the Super Bowl some weeks back was a dog-howler. (I know that someone will attempt to yank my sista-card for saying that out front, but my card has armed guards, so good luck getting to it.)
Frankly, all Star-Spangled Banner renditions must measure up to Whitney Houston’s magical
1989 1991 Super Bowl performance. I watched it in a room full of GIs at an NCO Club in Germany. Many tears were seen around the room after Whitney sang, including my own.
I was lamenting the other day that, while I never liked many of Whitney’s song choices, she was undeniably talented and that it seems that nearly every female pop vocalist is trying to be the next Whitney without benefit of having her pipes. Of course, Whitney doesn’t even have Whitney’s pipes anymore (though, if reports are correct, she is definitely in possession of another type of pipe or two.)
Sigh. Such is life.