It was 25 years ago today that Whitney Houston performed one of the most memorable renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” of all time, just before Super Bowl XXV between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants (note: don’t mention this game to a Bills fan). The country was in the midst of the first Gulf War, and Houston’s stirring and powerful rendition of our national anthem was simply incredible. In fact, she would go on to release the performance as a single and it broke the top 20 of the Hot 100, making it the highest charting version of the iconic song, until her version once again appeared in the top 10 following the 9/11 attacks. And in both cases, she donated all the proceeds to charity.
But while Whitney Houston’s performance was once in a lifetime, unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most dreadful performances of our national anthem to ever curse our ears.
Roseanne Barr – 1990
Yeah, you all knew she’d make this list. In Roseanne’s defense, she appears to have taken a “bad on purpose” approach here, attempting to emulate a baseball player with her excessive crotch-grabbing in a performance she gave before a San Diego Padres game. Still, this didn’t go over well with the crowd, who either didn’t get the joke, or just didn’t think it was funny. This was an example of how there are certain times that just aren’t ideal for attempts at humor.