Kelly Clarkson hits the right note with national anthem
February 6th, 2012
08:48 AM ET

Kelly Clarkson hits the right note with national anthem

We've all witnessed the ways a star's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" can go horribly wrong, but on Sunday, original "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson was praised for singing it right.

Clarkson's fans noted that she showcased her show-stopping vocals while maintaining clarity and exercising some restraint. Immediately, an audience usually ready to critique had nothing but applause for the star.


Musicians like Jason Aldean, Pink and Chris Daughtry were wowed, with Daughtry writing,

Pink added:

Purists might be disappointed that she still allowed room for interpretation, but they might nonetheless agree with Piers Morgan's take on the performance: "Kelly Clarkson 1 Steven Tyler 0."

What do you think of her performance - is it up there with some of the best?

Filed under: Music • Super Bowl • television

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. SBI Personal Loan Rate

    I have fun with, lead to I discovered just what I was looking for. You've ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    April 21, 2012 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. DDM

    When will the singers quit murdering 'the land of the FREE-HEEEE' – really? Free-HEEE ?? Just to show off a higher note? It sounds fake and ridiculous. I'll appreciate these singers when they can sing 'the land of the free' without plugging on that donkey-braying upper note of 'HEEE' on the end of 'free' just like it used to be. Thanks.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KeeKo

    If Im not mistaken...Whitney had to lip sync her SB performance because of the stadium and because of the jets they flew over the one would be able to hear her and she wouldn't be able to hear the that as it may...Whitney, weither lip sync'd or not sang the anthem the best...Kelly killed it too, but no one has pipes (hehehe) like Whitney had.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GMUR

    I'm truly amazed at some of the comments in this thread. That said, KC's reverent and thoughtful rendering of the anthem was quite beautiful and inspiring. It's a brave soul indeed, who can stand before literally hundreds of million others and perform as she did. I could only dream of having such vocal and performance ability. Most of us can't even get "Happy Birthday" even remotely close to plan, let alone start and finish in the same key! Kelly Clarkson's anthem will be long remembered.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nikki

    Kelly was good, but Whitney Houston's version was tops!

    February 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kelly

    I still think that Mariah had the best and most important singing of our national anthem at the Super Bowl. I'll never forget her beautiful rendition at the 2002 Super Bowl which was of course, the first Super Bowl after 9/11. It still gives me chills. Kelly Clarkson also did a fantastic job this year and it's among my favorites.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    Too bad it was the American anthem she sang.....

    February 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al. Goldstein

      Yup. Should have been the Israeli anthem – they are the ones who control the US.

      February 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |


    February 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RS

    What about when Marvin Gaye sang the National Anthem at the Laker's game one of the best performaces I ever heard.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ki

    I watch the superbowl for the National Anthem and the fighter plane flyover, and I am not even American by birth. I know it was dome stadium but why no flyover this year? Did I miss it?
    Kelly was great by the way.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. amy miyahira

    Beautifully done. That is the way it is suppose to be sung. Yes Kelly is not only the true American Idol but also America's sweetheart. Great job Kelly.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Min

    Another poor rendition, at least she got the words right but warbling around and changing the melody is not honoring the national anthem. I'm a trained soprano with a 3 octave range and know how to sing it properly but I'd take Steven Tyler's version over this any day, at least he sang the melody and rhythm as written.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • @Min

      Min, you may be a trained soprano, but unfortunately you are not allowed interpretation. If you are singing Mimi, you have to sing it EXACTLY as Gounod wrote it. If you are singing Papagena, you have to sing it EXACTLY as Mozart wrote it. Classical training is based on exact reproduction of a piece of music, with no room for interpretation musically.

      As long as the notes are hit correctly the overall melody is hit correctly, and the main phrasing and structure of the song are as they were intended, there's no reason that there can't be a slight bit of interpretation ... at least in this arena.

      February 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • MPA

      W.O.W. ........ get over yourself Min

      February 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Donna B

    Kelly was great! She gave me chills, job well done...... I also feel Josh Groban & Carrie Underwood were great as well. All these indivduals are wonderful singers and can all hold their own. They make me feel proud as an American when they sing this song with conviction which represents our America!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ken

    Kelly was great! Whitney's had the whole Desert Storm thing riding it and she was fantastic (although I don't like her). The best I've heard was an Air Force Captain in Game One of the 1990 Wrold Series (Reds vs. A's).

    February 7, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    Marvin Gaye has the best National Anthem. I cannot remember the event I think it was the NBA All-Star game in the early 80's. This was nicely done, but I have not heard another singer that can bring the same emotion that Marvin Gaye could.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  16. Sandi

    Typically a traditional only fan, but I have to say that I was brought to tears from Kelly's performance. Her touches were not over the top and complemented the melody nicely. I did have a hard time with the timing of some of the notes, but it could have been delay in the transmission to my room or on purpose...but I got worried she was going to rush it from the beginning. Then she slowed it to the right tempo and delivered beautifully. I do think that she has quite possibly taken the "Superbowl Anthem Trophy" from Whitney Houston. Whitney's rendition was amazing too. Well done, Kelly.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  17. Joi Gibson

    She did a really, really good job. The National Anthem is hard to sing and too many flourishes really takes away from it. You need a set of pipes and IMHO, Whitney Houston's rendition was by far the best rendition. Kelly Clarkson, however, did a fabulous rendition. Good for her!!!!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  18. Dave

    For a fat frog, she has a nice voice.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • sad sad sad

      It's amazing how superficial people can be.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Half of the enjoyment is watching a performer, which isn't much fun when watching a giant Toad perform. I love Adele's voice and her songs but cannot watch her for the exact same reasons. Who the heck likes seeing a performers arm fat jiggle? Not I, thanks.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandi

      Dave...why is her body shape of any importance in how she sings? Kelly is Kelly no matter what she looks like. We need to step away from putting so much importance on looks and focus on good health. You know, you can be above your "ideal" weight and be in very good health? You can have your opinion on whether or not you like her voice, but you don't have a right to judge anyone on their looks.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Dave your a moron. People like you are the reason we have girls that are killing themselves trying to "fit in" the mold. Girls are really dying from eating disorders because of opinions from trolls like you. What you said was disgusting. Kelly just blew everybody away with her singing and all you can come up with is she's a "fat Frog". Get a life Dave...........

      February 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Dave's never lonely as long as he has one hand free.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. Melissa

    Kelly Clarkson nailed it! She proved, yet again, why she was our first American Idol! Thanks you, Kelly, for making me proud to be an American!

    February 7, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  20. Aaron

    February 7, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  21. Aaron

    I'm usually reluctant to listen to the National Anthem being sung at major events like this because the "talent" they bring in typically overdo it. However, I opted to listen to this one as I'd grown to respect Clarkson's live singing capability, showcased during her time on AI and the years that have followed. She was able to make the song her own by taking some small liberties with the phrasing and a few select notes, but at the same time kept the essence of the song fully intact. Thank you Kelly!

    And while others have commented about Whitney's fantastic rendition (though it was lip synched) and the Dixie Chicks, I would also suggest viewing Josh Groban's performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of the Packers/Lions Thanksgiving game in 2001. It was just a few short months following 9/11 and he too showed some originality by taking some small liberties with the notes, but managed to maintain the essence of the song. It was an emotional moment.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. karen

    Kelly was great....Whitney Houston was great...but remember hers was lipped sync. She prerecorded it and just made the motions.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  23. Connie

    Kelly Clarkson was awesome, as always. She sang the National Anthem as good as Whitney! Whitney did it best, but now it is tie between her and Ms. Clarkson!!

    February 7, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  24. mylasigns

    Loved Kelly's anthem, also loved Whitney's back in the day. Just want to say that if you have never sung the National Anthem, you have no room to be critical of those that do. It is a VERY difficult song to sing, especially the range. Plus, having to sing it in a huge stadium with echo and noise. Hats off to those who do it well.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  25. RN0901

    Ms Clarkson sounded wonderful as did Mr. Shelton and Ms Lambert. Wish I could sing like that. Oh well, maybe in my next life. LOL

    February 7, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  26. Art Vandolay

    Is she wearing a wig? Somebody cut her bangs. I kept staring at her weird hairdo, and couldnt pay attn to the song. Guess the anthem was good, according to reports.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  27. AuntSlappie

    Future "Anthem"singers need to watch and listen to Kelly. She sang our country's song with pride. Kelly, America is proud of you.

    February 7, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  28. starzzguitar

    I didn't know Kelly was going to sing it beforehand. I relaxed because I knew if anyone could sing that song, it was her. Then, of course, great job, as always.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  29. Johana

    Love Kelly....and she sang it good but it did not beat Whitney Houston rendition...Whitney still remains the best of the best.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  30. ComeOnMan9

    The girl can blow!

    February 7, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  31. Andrew K. in Boston

    I had made up my mind when I saw her before she sang and then I completely changed it. SHE DID A GREAT JOB!

    February 7, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  32. mmi16

    Every time a singer opens their mouth to sing – They make the song their own – their voice, and inflections are like no others. Every voice is it's own instrument. Kelly Clarkson is really the only Idol that has REALLY staked a claim to be a singer for the ages. She did a great job with Francis Scott Key's poem that has been married to a devilishly hard to sing old English drinking song.

    Right ON Kelly!

    February 7, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  33. mayflower

    You hang onto that sick little fantasy. I'm pretty sure it's all you have. Friggin' pervert.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  34. lucy

    I thought that Kelly Clarkson did a wonderful job singing the National Anthem. I also loved that she looked classy instead of trashy. She brought back repect and diginity to the song,..something that has been sadly missing from many performances of late. Thank you Kelly for making America proud!

    February 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Tresenia

    She did America proud! One of the best I've ever heard.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. redz

    No one should be allowed to sing the National Anthem but Whitney Houston. Too bad she had to go crazy and take that voice with her. Kelly has a good voice but I thought something was off in the beat and I did not like the arrangement. Her vocal power was not suited to such a stripped down version.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Kismet

    I enjoy a bit of interpretation. Like one poster said, if everyone sang it the same, what's the point of having different people singing – just play a taped recording of the same person singing the song. I did have a question though – aren't you supposed to have your hand over your heart during the song? Most of the players didn't and I noticed the same thing with the military men. Maybe it's just been a long time since I was in school.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • TracyR

      My point exactly! And it hasn't been that long since I was in school – I'm only 43! Yet another aspect of patriotism left by the wayside by todays younger generation – much the way the Pledge of Allegiance is being forgotten in schools – so, so sad!

      February 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kismet

      Tracy – LOL, I didn't see your reply before I posted my own. Hubby says you only need to have your hand on your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, but I still think it's a sign of respect to do the same during the Anthem.

      February 7, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  38. TracyR

    I feel that Kelly Clarkson did our National Anthem proud! I usually get chills every time I hear it, but her rendition last night actually brought tears to my eyes! My only thought watching was "Why are these players swaying and jumping around?". I was taught to place my hand over my heart, stand still, and sing along.....why on earth were they all moving, not singing and not even showing the proper respect by placing their hand over their heart?

    February 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jo

    Those of you who are insisting Kelly did lip-sync the anthem, to you I pose this question. Have you any idea how they managed to teach the children's choir to lip sync so professionally, to say nothing of doing stick-syncing to the hundred or so snare drummers?

    Those of us who pay attention think Kelly was wonderful, and much closer to perfect than most of the others.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Pamela

    Just for the record, the kids from AMERICAN IDOL never lipsynch.... unless they have to, like on the Macy's parade floats. Kelly, Clay, Carrie, Chris et all are actual SINGERS, not protooled & autotuned record-label pop tarts.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  41. PK

    You want tears to come to your eyes during the National Anthem, dust off Kate Smith, if anyone can find a recording of her. But Kelly sang with reverence, something that hasn't been done in a long time and she carried it well.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  42. JB

    Derek, I can't believe you don't think she sang it live. The last 3 performers: Kelly, Christina and Carrie Underwood sang it live. The last person to have a pre-recorded tape was Jordin Sparks.

    For those who don't believe she can't hit the notes, here is her singing it at the NBA Finals in 2011. She does a very similar version and still hits the high "free" note just as she did at the Super Bowl. There is nothing fake about her talent. She can do it all, folks!

    February 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jeff

    She is the one American Idol all other American Idols are compared against and she proved it again that there will be only one true American Idol winner. Sunday proved to me why I buy each and every album she puts out.
    She should sing for every Super Bowl.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  44. urkidding

    OK, so Whitney sang in a studio where it they can make it all sound great, even it it was not. Before you get all hot and bothered. I am not saying she did not sing great in the studio. Trying to point out maybe studio music can be made better than live performance in a stadium. Kelly was great.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  45. tony2302

    Do any of you nit pickers even know this was a poem?the melody was added long after Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner.Maybe what she should have done to appease you "haters" and dislikers is just stood there and did it monotone.OOOO she took too liberties adding an extra syllable to banner and a high note to free. Are you SERIOUS?????? Gee maybe she should be sent to prison for preforming the best LIVE version of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.Way To Go Kelly!!!

    February 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. MaryAnn in VA

    There has never been anything but speculation that Whitney Houston lip sync'd the national anthem. The Florida Orchestra, which accompanied her must have also been recorded and "play synced" as well. Ms Houston sang the song on her own and at the time had the musical training and ability to do it. Ms Clarkson also did an awesome job as well. The National Anthem is not an easy song to sing and persons who attempt it must know it flawlesssly and without hesitation.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Ashley W

    I usually wince when celebrities sing the National Anthem. However, I think Kelly did a great job. The underlying drum cadence kept things moving along beautifully, and she took very few liberties with the piece. I gave a sigh of relief at a job well done.

    February 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Common Sense

    What horrible quality video seriously the sound and video attached to this article were bad barely a step up from a cell phone video I don't remember it sounding so bad during the game. Her performces was great and the anthem is a hard nut to crack everyone thinks they know how it should be sung. Also for those saying she put to much indivual touch to it think of this maybe she did it as a way to show it wasn't taped from someone else or a past perforance being reused to be her. Also whats the point of having someone sing it if their always going to be with the same voice and tempo. I get it's the national anthem & should be done with pride and respect but seriously whats the part if their all going to sound exactly the same? ALso theirs lots of versions and verses that people may not know are part of the song that people choose to sing. At least she wasnt christina aguilar who forgot the lyrics and then repeated a line or two who also always has to go high and long even when at a funeral because she thinks she has their great voice and can sing gospel style. Especially after last year its amazing anyone would want to do it especially knowing how critic it was going to be regardless of who did it or how well she remembered the words.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  49. She did a fantastic job. She's got a wonderful voice, fantastic musicianship and she's smart enough to not "make it her own". Bravo!

    February 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Texas to Texas

    From one Texan to another, you went "BIG"!!! Excellent job Ms. Clarkson.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  51. JM in MA

    Kelly did a wonderful job (and the children's choir too!). I wish she was the half-time entertainment, instead of Madonna and her cast of ridiculous characters.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Jeff J

    She sung it well, Whitney Houston was better!

    February 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Of course whitneys was great I dont remember cant even say I remembered she did it or who she is but I can say she was good because she was always high on crack and you always are good when your high on crack.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  53. StevenTylerWouldBeProud

    Maybe she should judge Steven Tyler on his performance......he was terrible. Dude looks like a lady and sang like a canary choking on a cat. (i meant every word of that).

    February 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  54. TXCinderella

    Kelly kicked butt last night! She looked great and sounded even better. You go girl!!!

    February 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  55. The Truth

    Just listened to Whitney's version again and Kelly want even come close to matching that. With that said, Kelly good job!

    February 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense

      Yeah being high on crack cocaine all the time and whoring out helps alot with live performances in 30 years when Kellys over the hilll on cocaine and other drugs for years maybe she'll sound just as good as houstin. We can only hope not.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  56. yikes

    I personally don't like too much interpretation but after hearing so many horrible singers I would have to say Ms. Clarkson sounded beautiful, pure and patriotic.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  57. janemutiny

    There is always room for personal interpretation. Think about this: when you hear your favorite song on the radio (and I don't care if it was recorded in 1930 or last week), you are hearing the one version of that song that happened to be recorded at that time. It is not THE ONE AND ONLY WAY that the song was meant to be performed or heard. It is very rare for a musician to sing a song the same way repeatedly. How boring would that be? Likewise with written music. You can't write down all the many ways a song can be performed, you have to pick one to be used as a guide. Even back in the days of Mozart, it was expected that musicians would add their own interpretation and trills to the piece. Music is a form of expression, and a live performance should not be confused with the original sheet music or recording that inspired it. Stripping the artist's personal interpretation from a piece of music is ridiculous, that is where the passion and artistry lie. By the way, Francis Scott Key wrote the words to The Star Spangled Banner, but he stole the music from an old hymn. In other words, he took someone else's work and made it his own.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. MP in VA

    As a former member of the Army, I take pride in the National Anthem. I cringe when artists take "creative liberties" with the song, take the song lightly, or make the focus of the song themselves rather than the song. Whether or not it was the best of all time, Ms. Clarkson highlighted not only her singing talent, but also her respect for the flag and her country. I didn't think that Steve Tyler did a bad job, either; he sang it straight.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Pete Moss

    Haven't heard it sung better since Roseanne

    February 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Linda R

    Well done, Kelly!! Well done!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  61. EJ

    Thanks Kelly for not butchering the national anthem. I have barely been able to recognize it the last few years.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  62. donlizard

    That was an excellent version of the anthem. Being Canadian I usually don't here it that often, but recently with all the people destroying your anthem, that was an unreal job.
    I just love the way she sings anything. She looked beautiful as well.
    I hereby propose marriage to you Kelly! 🙂

    February 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Nancy Verhelst

    Beautiful rendition of our Anthem. Great job Kelly! You look MAAAHVELOUS too!!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Skee

    How about we "can" all the singers and rotate the various Service bands
    to come in and play the anthem? Start with the Marine Band and let the crowd sing the words.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jean

      Love your idea! If these singers can't sing it as written, I don't want to hear it. Francis Scott Key and the anthem were the subjects of my Senior Thesis back in 1951. Back then, we respected our anthem and stood with hand over heart when it was played. Yes, I know at 78 I am not allowed this comment, but I hope just once I can hear a pure rendition before I die. There was a tenor once who did a wonderful job but can't remember who he was–maybe hockey???? –maybe Alzheimer's????

      February 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Jesse R

    Kelly Clarkson's rendition of our national anthem was spectacular. The war time drum beats in the background were haunting. Truly the best interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner to date. Although Whiteny Houston edges out Kelly Clarkson for best singing of the Anthem. Kudos!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  66. freddy

    I agree, she did an awesome vocal on the song. Altho, thier was NO originality at all. She basicly did the Whitney version of the song ( but better) even with the added high note at the very end. ( it was not written originally in the melody) or the land of the freeeeee–eeeeee. just keep it on the original melody. The song is not about showing off how well you can sing, but giving feeling and emotion to the song for what its written about. Just sayin. You don't have to have a 5 active voice to sing this song, just feeling and keeping to the melody. respectivly speaking.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Patty

    Kelly did a great job but Whitney Houston probably had the all time best version.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Indy resident

    I wish the announcers would have given credit to the choir that sang back-up. They were selected members of the Indianapolis Children's Choir.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Leucadia Bob

    February 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Veronica

    She did amazing. Google the Cactus Cuties rendition of the National Anthem, they are amazing! I think they are between 6 and 10 yrs of age!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Geoff

    Can the NFL continue the good singers next year and bring Jim Cornelison in

    February 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Derek

    Can't believe how many people think she sung it live.. they stopped allowing live performances for the NA years ago. They will not allow the possibility of a mistake..

    February 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You think Christina Nastyliera lip-synced last year? If she had maybe she'd have gotten it right. Every group or soloist that sings ANY song puts its own interpretation on it. The fact that KC has a little pop/soul in her voice is just the way it happened for her, but, she didn't have to put in all the runs and, like said before, show-boating to "make it their own".

      February 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Biff

    She did sound nice. However, for purists, it is "ban – ner yet wave", not "ba – a – ner yet wave". Two notes for banner, not three. No pop star ever gets that right. Listen to a military choir, they get it right every time.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Becky

    watching that just gae me goosebumps

    February 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  75. talentedindeed

    That brought tears to my eyes. She brought it home indeed!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Jeebus

    Wait a second....she altered the last note, just like Steven Tyler. Where's the outrage!!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • givemeabreak

      @Jeebus..........she sounded NOTHING like Steven Tyler..........don't even compare the two! She showed everyone REAL talent that night. Steven Tyler could never match that performance!!

      February 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  77. suznj

    My husband is a veteran, a musician, & also gets totally offended and po'd when a singer takes liberties with the National Anthem. No, you cannot make THIS song 'your own.' He was silent for awhile after Kelly Clarkson sang... and then said, "Gave me chills." Congratulations, Kelly...high praise!!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  78. ram111

    If you're not going to allow any interpretation, just play a recording.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  79. beinw

    Everyone who loves the Whitney Houston version are right on..... But...... You're forgetting the Huey Lewis and the News rendition. Not the most recent one but the one they sang at a baseball game in San Fran. Awesome! No instruments. Just them. Classy and right on track.

    All those hating Kelly's version don't know much about music. Her version was the re-write not in the traditional 3/4 time but was in 4/4 time. I am generally a purist when it comes to the National Anthem. Never liked the variations. But, on some occasions, it's okay to add a fermata here and there or an extra note at the end of a long as it's classy. Kelly did a good job with what she did. Could complain but won't. (Way better than Rosanne....!!!!)

    February 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Guest

    Sounded great! Loved it!! She's proved that she CAN sing!! 😉

    February 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Kelly E.

    The two best National Anthem renditions by far were sang by Whitney Houston and Kelly Clarkson. They both did it without restraint...just flawless!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Justin

    The most "affected" I ever got from a SSB performance was from The Steele Singers at a MN Twins game. This is up there, though. Great job Kelly!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Calcommuter

    I have to disagree. "Some restraint" but not enough. Turning the National Anthem into a country ballad, changing octaves to show her range was too much. Sing the song, get off the stage. No one has done it in years. I agree with Coriolana. Showboating is a good description.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  84. lol

    Kelly was good, but the best National Anthem ever was done by Whitney Houston. Everyone knows that!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calcommuter

      True, her recording of the song was a good one. Unfortunately, it was leaked later that she lip synched.

      February 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      yes Whitney was good. but I bet she couldn't do it now if she wants to

      February 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Sokman

    Clarkson did a great job. My favorite singers are when military personnel sing the anthem before some Nascar races. When military sing it, you know they're going to get it right

    February 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  86. Coriolana

    She was ok-she managed the notes and remembered the words. But she still couldn't resist the urge to showboat those last bars and sounding like a wounded moose.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  87. the_dude

    I like how she is kind of fat but not really.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  88. Richard Fore

    If you know how to lick balls real good then send me your number

    February 6, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  89. TRE

    damn she's hot

    February 6, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  90. JJ

    Whitney Houston; best rendition ever!

    February 6, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  91. monah


    February 6, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  92. lucy2

    I thought she did a fantastic job. She has a wonderful voice, and was great choice for the National Anthem this year.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  93. ms. mary

    Kelly, you rock, way to go. You have always been and will be my favorite American Idol. You sang that with class, it was beautfiul.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  94. csand

    Great Job by Kelly... She rocked the anthem, with her beautiful voice...

    February 6, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  95. cblack

    Great Job by Kelly... She rocked the anthem, with her beautiful voice...

    February 6, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  96. Shadow

    I usually am not too impressed with the National Anthem singers, but she did a great job. Way better than Madonna's lip-syncing. I don't care if you lip-sync, just don't try to insult me by holding a microphone like I'm an idiot and won't notice.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  97. Richard Fore

    I hope she can lick my balls better than she can sing!

    February 6, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  98. Mr. Wilson

    Very nice. The choir in the background and drums were great touches.

    Definitely one of the better performances of the anthem.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  99. soapbox suzi


    February 6, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  100. john

    whitney's version all time best> long live ms.houston

    February 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  101. Colleen

    Kelly did a great job but my favorite is still the Dixie Chicks from the 2002 Super Bowl ...

    February 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  102. jeh

    Whitney lip-synced to a studio recording. She better get it right when she has multiple takes and production effects.

    Kelly's LIVE performance was excellent and I prefer the live effort to Whitney's canned performance. Yes, she took some small liberties with the melody, but she kept the spirit of the anthem unlike the singers that throw in over-the-top runs.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  103. jimcmc

    The best ever! – Kelly was right on top – great, great job!

    February 6, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  104. trix are for kids

    jazznut50, perhaps you can show us how it's done next year?

    February 6, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  105. Lo Jenk

    February 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  106. Sly Sadie

    I thought Kelly did a fantastic job. She sang the song beautifully, and I loved the kids, too. I thought the combination was great. Finally, somebody sang the song with the proper dignity that it deserves. America the Beautiful was also done beautifully.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • INDY

      Congrats to backup vocalists, "The Indianapolis Children's Choir" for a job well done. Another nice touch by Indy! (Too bad the announcer failed to mention them in the introduction.)

      February 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  107. cm

    She's an AMAZING vocalist ... always has tons of control w/her voice!

    February 6, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  108. dragonfly32

    Loved Kelly's rendition but the very best SSB rendition of ALL time still goes to Whitney Houston, pre-Bobby, "crack is whack," Whitney of course. Watch it here:

    February 6, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Ethel Merman

      No, you gotta give it to Kelly. She sang live while Whitney was pre-recorded.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • t b

      Kelly wins Whitney great job but really kelly the best i ever heard

      February 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      100% correct!

      February 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • joey

      Sorry, Dixie Chicks blow Whitney out of the water. So did Kelly. Whitney did a great job but not the best ever.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johana

      Love kellys but still Whitney is the best I doubt it was a recording...

      February 7, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  109. Keithge

    Kelly's rendition is, without a doubt, the finest performance since Whitney Houston sang it in Tampa, Fl. years ago. I was in awe at how she absolutely nailed it to a tee. Way to go girl!!!! BTW: Kelly is looking fantastic this days!

    February 6, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  110. jazznut50

    Yea, right which is why she had to have the group of kids singing with her on the high notes. I knew in the beginning she would never be able to hit those notes, and this falsetto-voice signing by her and all the other no-talent singers is beginning to wear on my last nerve. Plus, she got a word wrong–no news there.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jazz isn't the only genre

      What's the matter with you? Did you not receive enough attention as a child? Did Kelly snub you at some point? I'm just trying to place your snarky, misguided remark into some sort of context. To say that Kelly Clarkson has "no talent" is, at best, ludicrous. Please, seek immediate attention for your mental condition.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mel--SD

      Were we listening to the same National Anthem? What word did she get wrong?? It sounded great to me!

      February 6, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • REGIS


      February 6, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Z 1

      Jazznut more Nutjob. Kelley THANK YOU for not singing like christina Aguilera or Jennifer Hudson. it is painful to see them convulse and move their one arm and look like they are going into shock. That is the way most female performers sing.

      February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Thomas Shephard

    Kelly Clarkson nailed it last night. Thank You Kelly

    February 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  112. kathy ciaramella

    awesome rendition of the national anthem by kelly clarkson.....absolutely the best in a long time....thank you,kelly for your beautiful performance and bringing the dignity back to our national anthem

    February 6, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  113. rr


    February 6, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  114. Toni

    Kelly's National Anthem brought tears to my eyes. She sang with heart and soul and her voice was strong and beautiful.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  115. MPA

    Kelly Clarkson sang the National Anthem beautifully, respectfully, and tastefully. Loved it! One of the best performances of the anthem that I can remember. Thank you Kelly for NOT trying to incorporate those tacky, painful "runs" with the notes that so many other performers try to cram into their performances. Kelly can hold her head up high.... she brought pride and dignity back to the anthem.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  116. jess

    She is ok, but definitly no Lady GaGa. That Lady GaGa has real tallent.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  117. Jeanine

    Finally! It took three Super Bowls for someone to sing the National Anthem correct! Kudos to Kelly Clarkson! Also, a big applause to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton for their rendition of America the Beautiful! Thank you, guys, for doing this RIGHT!

    February 6, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      Seriously on the Miranda Lambert-Blake Shelton singing. You couldn't understand a word they were saying and they sounded horrible. I loved KC though. She ROCKED!!

      February 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  118. Robin Craig

    She sounded good, but there is NO room for personal interpretation of the musical notes. Do it right or don't do it at all. How old are the people that think she hit it right...12?

    February 6, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      You obviously know nothing about how it should sound then. What personal interpretation did she do and how did she change it? By going up a little on "free"? That was the purest version around and she didn't lip sync like Whitney Houston did back then. Oh yeah, and I am 31 and loved it!

      February 6, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Vet Charlie

      I'm a Vietnam Veteran, 68 years old and I felt that Kelly did a terrific job of singing our National Anthem. Thanks to Kelly for letting us enjoy the Anthem again.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • susieq

      While Kelly Clarkson did a fantastic job and sang the song from the heart, the last time I sang the National Anthem "free" is only one note. Here was her personal interpretation. Other than that it was executed with precision and soul. She has a beautiful voice.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Of course she lip sync'd it. You could tell near the end. They would never do something like that live at the super bowl.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      I agree.

      The note on "free" wasn't the problem. Those "soulful" flourishes were.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      53 and loved it. She kept it up tempo and did not drag it to 3 minutes like so many others try to do.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      She was perfect.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • starzzguitar

      I'm not 12. Has anyone ever sang it RIGHT? You want a boring note for note? A machine can do that. Kelly sang it WELL, and a fine interpretation. She could have gone crazy at the usual "land of the free" part, but she didn't. She sang the song with respect and honor.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  119. brian medinnus

    As a Veteran, I have herad many renditions of the National Anthem, this performance by Miss Clarkson was one of the best I have ever heard. It brought tears to my eyes! That is the way to sing the Nation Anthem!!!!

    February 6, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim S.

      Kelly was great. But you evidently never heard the version sung by Whitney Houston. Nothing compares to that.
      But Kelly made me very proud.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      It was good, but not in the same league with Whitney Houston's.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      FYI: What you heard during the Super Bowl in '91 was a recording. Whitney wasn't singing it live.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      II'm with ya on that one, Brian. Oh, and Welcome Home. Not to mention a hearty "Garry Owen" to ya!

      February 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Sorry, this one was fabulous but is still #2 after the Dixie Chicks. Whitney Houston's version was great but the Chicks blow them all out of the water.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nurse

      I agree, This song is a very difficult one to sing, if you don't start the song in a very low key your dead in the water, Kelly did a remarkable job and she gave me chills just to listen to her. Not everyone can sing the anthem like Whitney Houston, but Clarkson did a fantastic job! Good Girl Kelly

      February 7, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • right-left -right

      at my sons AIT graduation a girl sang the national anthem quite well. he later told me that the drill seargent had to about hurt her feelings to get it down to less than 4 minutes. thought she was a star

      February 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Joe H.

    Kelly once again proves that she's the only and only American Idol.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe H.

      Oops, – ONE and only. My bad...

      February 6, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Faye Girl

      How funny! I actually read it as "one and only" rather than "only and only!" Had to go back and read it again! My bad!

      February 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Landruu

      My man. It was a great performance without a doubt. However, let us not forget Carrie. She also is an American Idol. She has the harware to back it up.

      February 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CarolSong

      It's really adorable that you think that. Sigh. This nation has no idea what a good singer is. She couldn't reallly sing the lowest notes, so it was in the wrong key for her or just she just can't cut the range. Proudly is flat flat flat. And the grace notes, yah you probably don't know what those are just detract from the song. Didn't like it. Nope. Not even a little.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dominick Lombardi

      Lately, our National Anthem has been butchered by some of the pros in the music field. Whitney Houston's version was one of the best I can ever remembered from a Super Bowl. Last night's performance by Kelly Clarkson has now been placed at the top in my opinion. You could actually feel her passion in her words and made be proud to be an American!! Great Job!!!

      February 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      @carolsong: Can't critical wannabe singers like you just see the merit in her performance? This is the first time so many people have universally enjoyed one of these performances. But I suppose there always has to be a sad, little Negative Nelly in the crowd.

      February 7, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      No, I would have to say Carrie Underwood is the best of American Idol! But Ms Clarkson did a great job!!!

      February 7, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |

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