4th of july editorial

The spicy smell of fireworks and the huge family BBQs are underway; 4th of July is coming. I don’t know about you, but the 4th of July has managed to be one of my favorite holidays. Perhaps it’s the BBQs, or the excitement of lighting up yet another overly priced box of fireworks, but Independence Day is just for us; it is our national holiday marked by patriotic displays. And while your family plans who will be hosting this years 4th of July picnic or BBQ, I’ve put together a list of some of the Best Performances of The Star-Spagled Banner.

The list ranges from the legendary golden-god Jimmy Hendrix‘s controversial performance of The Star-Spangled Banner to Marvin Gaye‘s noteworthy performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

Take a look after the jump…

5. Billy Joel was the first musician to sing the National Anthem twice at the Super Bowl (1989 and 2007), and in the same venue coincidentally. Perhaps it is because the man has won 6 Grammy Awards and is part of the Rock and Roll hall of fame, but if you take a look at the video below, it seems like this tear jerking performance made even the big guys cry.

Billy Joel “the star spangled banner”

4. Now here’s a woman who can probably bring any man (or woman) to tears; Beyonce Knowles. Her performance at the 2004 Super Bowl also drove many to tears probably because she’s a Houston-native. Take a look at her performance below.

3. Jimmy Hendrix‘s guitar solo of the American National Anthem at 1969 Woodstock Festival is among one of the most controversial, yet most memorable versions of the Star-Spangled Banner. Hendrix played the piece and added a number of mock-like noises referring to planes, bombs, and screams (all in reference to the Vietnam War), and the hippies loved it. If you haven’t seen the live performance of this 60s symbol act, then take a look below.

2. Some people refer to Whitney Houston 1991 performance at the Super Bowl as the best one in history, but others argue that because Houston was singing into a dead mic, and the whole performance was pre-recorded that the means to it have been devalued, but others disagree with that too. However, whether you agree or disagree, facts are facts, and the fact is that her version of The Star-Spangled Banner was top 20 on the BillBoard Hot 100.

1. It is said that Marvin Gaye stole the show with his “singular rendition” of The Star-Spangled Banner at the 1983 NBA All Star game. The beat was different, he was different; it was perfect. Most performers go for the heavy-hearted versions by making as sentimental as possible, but Gaye’s performance was moving by being so different. It was tropical and sexy and no one can ever top that; the man made history.

Which is your personal favorite (if you have one)?