Kelly Clarkson's National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI: How Did She Do?

Things might get a little awkward on the set of The Voice come Monday morning — especially if Kelly Clarkson bumps into Christina Aguilera at the craft services table.

Clarkson — inaugural American Idol champ, current pop superstar, and recently announced adviser to Voice judge Blake Shelton — just finished killing it delivering the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Voice mentor Aguilera, meanwhile, pretty much murdered “The Star Spangled Banner” (and not in a good way) with a botched lyric and a histrionic delivery a year ago (at Super Bowl XLV).

But hey…let’s not dwell on the tawdry past. (Xtina, after all, gave us “Beautiful,” “Dirrty,” “Ain’t No Other Man,” and Beverly McClellan — all of which we are thankful for.)

Clarkson, dressed in a simple black boat-neck dress (and rocking some dark and stylish bangs), proved a sublime choice to deliver the National Anthem at the start of the New York Giants-New England Patriots showdown. Backed by a chorus of adorable grade-schoolers, Clarkson showed blessed restraint, took just a few interesting liberties with the melody, and delivered a performance that was heartfelt, respectful, and chock full of power. (Wish they’d shown just a little more of her, though, no?)

What did you think of Clarkson’s “Star Spangled Banner”? Take our poll below, share your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned to all night long for coverage of Super Bowl ads, halftime show, and more!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Liam says:

    I’ve been watching the Super Bowl for the last 5 years or so here in the UK, and Kelly was by far the best anthem singer I’ve seen!

    • WHOA EVERYONE!! Kelly Clarkson DID flub Our National Anthem….she sang:whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous SIGHT–WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!! The word she flubbed was “sight”, when she SHOULD have sung PERILOUS FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! SOMEBODY should have listened a little closer, as I did,and checked out the exact wording at at least have it on a tele-prompter!! I am ashamed that these Americans can’t get the words to our freedom-anthem, that they should be chosen to sing it in PUBLIC!!!

      • RMB says:

        No she didn’t. She sings perilous fight. You heard wrong. Go to YouTube and listen again. She got the lyrics correct.

      • cg says:

        I don’t know what you are smoking but Kelly did NOT flub the anthem. She snag it perfectly, sang the right words.

      • Billy says:

        To be fair to Mary Beth, there is one YouTube post that clearly has Kelly singing “through the perilous SIGHT”…but on closer listening you can hear it’s really background hiss cranked up in volume. Don’t know if it’s intentional by the person that posted it or just a coincidence.
        The other seven (!!!) versions I listened to on YouTube had better sound and Kelly DID sing “perilous FIGHT”.

      • danielcw says:

        It is quite common, that f- and s-sounds become indistinguishable after compression, processing and transmission.

  2. Erin says:

    Kelly KILLED it.

    • jen says:

      ummmm, she was lip synching. very very badly.

      • RM says:

        Until a couple of years ago, every Superbowl performance was lip synced. With all the dumb flack singers have been getting recently, why would it surprise anyone that singers go back to lip syncing performances? The children’s choir track was obviously pre-recorded. Also, the cameras were minimizing the amount of Kelly’s screen time. If it was lip synced, it was well done. If you saw a large delay, you must have a bad set-top box or TV.

      • CJ says:

        No she wasn’t.

      • cg says:

        Definitely not lip synced. Kelly just tweeted that she was nervous and has mentioned all week about being nervous. If it was pre-record I doubt she would have been nervous.

      • maggie says:

        ummmm, she wasn’t lip synching. You need to watch it again.

      • jacob says:

        UNTRUE! She sang it live. The choir sang it live and the drummers drummed it live.

        • indy mom says:

          The choir did NOT sing it live. The children had no microphones. It was actually over 100 children that pre-recorded it weeks before, and only 46 were carefully chosen to stand behind her. The 46 did sing, but no one could hear them. Wish the 100 would get more credit for their participation, but them again the choir was not even introduced. Very poor.

      • Jon Dillon says:

        She doesnt lip sync, even she has said she doesnt

  3. Jason says:

    Fantastic. It wasn’t indulgent and she sang the hell out of it.

  4. Matthew says:

    Classy. Beautiful. LOVE HER SO MUCH.

  5. Pam says:

    Way to go Kelly! I actually cheered.

  6. Deborah says:

    She killed it awesome love her.

  7. Kristina says:

    Kelly was absolutely fantastic!

  8. Ellen says:

    Absolutely loved it!! Kelly did an incredible job. Once of the best performances of the anthem I have ever heard.

  9. Jenny says:

    She did awesome!!!!

  10. Darth Pablo says:

    She sang the anthem in UNDER one minute and 36 seconds, so I’m a happy man. #propbet

  11. brian says:

    My girl nailed it

  12. Bobbi says:

    She was fantastic! Wonderful to finally have someone do it justice.

  13. Kyron says:


  14. Derek says:

    loved it and have always loved her

  15. mzbet says:

    Amazing. That’s all.

  16. kbaum31 says:

    i thought she did great!!

  17. Carrie says:

    Kelly did fantastic!

  18. brittany says:

    Kelly killed it! It was absolutely amazing! And she looked stunning! She was a perfect choice!

  19. Kristen says:

    She did a beautiful job, made it about the anthem and not about her. As it should be. I love her voice and her attitude.

  20. Rainbowgal4 says:

    Kelly did a great job. Goes to show you the best singers come from Idol!

  21. brandy says:

    Perfect. Beautiful. Flawless. I wanted her to keep singing forever.

  22. Rebecca says:

    Nice job Kelly!

  23. GS says:

    Hope Steven Tyler was watching cause he sucked too. Kelly can sing anything and sound good. Love her! Thought she looked great too!

  24. Silvana says:

    I’ve heard Kelly Clarkson sing the National Anthem a few times before and she always, ALWAYS, nails it. This time was no different, as she sang it beautifully with her powerful voice. She looked beautiful as well, bringing class back to the Super Bowl. Well done Kelly. Now if only they’d get HER to do the half-time show next year…

  25. Paul says:

    Flawwless, it proves two things
    1 Kelly knows the anthem well enough not to try something different thus giving it the respect and style it should be sung with
    2 Whybwe voted for her in the first place oh so many years ago.

  26. Robin says:

    She did an amazing job! I’ve heard her sing it before, but this was an even better performance! Way to go Kelly!!! :)

  27. jamie says:

    Thought Kelly sounded great. However the children’s choir annoyed me. They distracted me from Kelly.

    • elr says:

      I agree with you. I didn’t like the children’s choir or the drums that were down there on the field with her. The acoustics were so bad that it was hard to hear her at times.

  28. Kate says:

    WOW!!!! Kelly killed it!!!!! I’ve been a huge fan of hers since idol and as corny as it sounds, I’m proud to be a fan!

  29. Marcus says:

    Excellent. She was classy, stayed on key, and remembered the words. One of the best in recent years.

  30. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    Kelly sounded GREAT! Loved her version of the Anthem – heartfelt and respectful and beautifully sung. Take THAT Tina!

  31. Leah says:

    Everyone should sing The National Anthem with a choir! Not only did it sound great, but it kept Kelly Clarkson from adding runs after every word!

    • Dash says:

      Kelly Clarkson is not so self-indulgent that she would feel the need to add runs after every word with or without the kiddos. She actually respects the song she is singing.

    • Chris says:

      Kelly is not BoobsMcghee aka ‘XTINA’, she doesnt need to add runs to sounds amazing.

  32. Kelley says:

    Beautifully done.

  33. Kelly says:

    She nailed it!!!! Perfect choice to sing the anthem. Loove her

  34. Jamie says:

    Beautifully done!! She kept it simple and didn’t make a “show” out of it.

  35. Debi says:

    Amazing!!! Beautiful, respectful rendition of the National Anthem! Very few can sing live like she does. The children’s choir was a great addition to the performance…they were wonderful!!

  36. Robbbb says:

    She was fantastic! Best we’ve had in years.

  37. David says:

    Ms Clarkson never ceases to amaze me with that stunning voice of hers. She looked terrific too. Great job, Kelly!

  38. angelstorm says:

    FANTASTIC !! As per usual – because that’s just how she rolls ;)

  39. rox says:

    Great job Kelly! Refreshing!!

  40. shadow says:

    The Best ever Super Bowl National Anthem performance! Clarkson is an is an amazing talent.

  41. Leslie says:

    Kelly just replaced Whitney as my fav. Knew she wouldn’t disappoint. This is the issue I have with people dissing AI…they’re pretty much the only artists today who can sing without autotune.

  42. Allyson says:

    Kelly was AMAZING! And that was the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, directed by Henry Leck. They are amazing. :)

  43. Greg sellers says:

    Kelly clarkson has an unbelievably stunning performance tonight and she looked better than ever! Good job

  44. raftrap says:

    Living proof that after all the craziness and fakeness, these competitions are able to find greatness, she still is the champion.

  45. Theresa says:

    Kelly was perfection.

  46. Beth Ann says:

    Fat. Very fat.

  47. Kaiulani says:

    My friend’s daughter was in the choir backing Kelly.

  48. ali427 says:

    Now THAT’S how you sing the anthem!! She gave me chills. She was definitely in it to win it! :)

  49. Grace says:

    LOVE KELLY and her performance, but Faith Hill was a bit better. And what about Whitney Houston? But I LOVE KELLY.
    Half-time=TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!

  50. Keli says:

    She nailed it imo. Not even goona ask what you meant with the craft services table comment, I mean I don’t get stuff like that, what do YOU get out of it? Not everybody looks nor should they look the same, now if I misread you I’m sorry but if I’m correct in my suspicious belief than what I say still stands.