As Luke Bryan gears up to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LI (51) today (Feb. 5), sports website Yardbarker ranked all 50 Super Bowl national anthem performances, and one country star didn’t fare very well.
In the 50-year history of the Super Bowl, only five country artists have performed the national anthem before the big game: Charley Pride, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood. Luke will be the sixth.
Yardbarker ranked Carrie Underwood’s performance in 2010 as the fifth worst in history, saying: “Carrie Underwood might be the face of Sunday Night Football today, but her performance at Super Bowl XLIV left a lot to be desired. Underwood doesn’t have the voice to carry the anthem without accompaniment, and she was off pitch at a couple of key moments.”
Yardbarker ranked Charley Pride’s anthem at No. 33; Garth Brooks clocked in at No. 23; the Dixie Chicks registered at No. 17; and Faith Hill topped the country contingent by placing No. 5, with Yardbarker saying: “Oh my god. Bagpipes! Faith Hill’s performance of our anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV was nothing if not unique. Synthesizers, brass, bagpipes and an incredibly loud snare drum don’t seem to be things that work together with Faith Hill’s voice, but somehow it all came together in a wonderful, chocolate-and-peanut-butter kind of way.”
In case you were wondering, Yardbarker dubbed Whitney Houston’s 1991 anthem as the best, while Kathie Lee Gifford’s 1995 anthem was deemed the worst.
Below, check out the five Super Bowl anthems by Charley, Faith, Garth, the Dixie Chicks and Carrie—and decide for yourself if Yardbarker got it right. And don’t miss Luke’s performance today (Feb. 5) at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Super Bowl VIII (8), 1974
Super Bowl XXVII (27), 1993
Super Bowl XXXIV (34), 2000
Super Bowl XXXVII (37), 2003
San Diego, California
Super Bowl XLIV (44), 2010
photos: Dixie Chicks courtesy Dixie Chicks; Faith Hill courtesy PFA Medai; Garth Brooks by Mark Tucker/Sony Music Nashville; Charley Pride by Ben De Rienzo/Absolute Publicity; Carrie Underwood courtesy Schmidt Relations