Jazmine Sullivan kicked off Super Bowl LV with a pitch perfect rendition of the National Anthem, which she sang with Eric Church. Sullivan performed dressed in a cream-colored suit and jeweled headpiece. Although the style itself was fairly simple, the meaning behind it was anything but.
Thirty years ago, the late Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991 and Sullivan chose to rehearse in a white sweatsuit that was nearly identical to the one worn by Houston. Actress Jackée Harry immediately noticed the subtle tribute and posted a tweet showing side by side photos of Houston performing in 1991 and Sullivan rehearsing in 2021.
Sullivan is 33 years old. Houston was just 27 when she gave her iconic National Anthem performance. The two performances have more than incredible singers and white attire in common: Both sang at Super Bowl games held in Tampa, Florida (via NBC Sports).
Whitney Houston's iconic performance has gone viral over the past few days
Houston’s memorable rendition of the National Anthem has gone viral over the past week as the 30th anniversary approached (via The Spun). When Houston performed, the Gulf War had begun just 10 days prior so the “Star Spangled Banner” evoked a great deal of emotion from viewers.
In fact, Houston’s 1991 performance was such a big hit that it was released as a single and it hit No. 20 on The Billboard Hot 100 (via Billboard). Ten years later, Houston re-released the single in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks and donated the proceeds and royalties to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police.
The white tracksuit and pantsuit weren’t the only nods to Houston. Twitter user Jay Terry posted a tweet showing that Sullivan’s jeweled headdress resembled the headpiece worn by Houston in the 1992 film The Bodyguard.
Houston’s iconic Super Bowl performance can be viewed on YouTube.
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