Five best performances of national anthem in MLB history: A fan’s take

There've been a lot of horrible renditions at sporting events (as well as other places) of America's national anthem, the "Star-Spangled Banner," including this horrific version by Rosanne Barr thought by many to be the worst of the worst. However, there've also been some absolutely stunning performances of the very hard to sing tune.

These performances were belted out by celebrities and non-celebrities alike, and include such venues as basketball games during the regular season and postseason, football games, including the Super Bowl, and hockey games, including the Stanley Cup Finals, where you'll see both the American and Canadian national anthems sung.

Following, though, are the five best performances of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at a MLB game you'll ever find:

1. Amber Riley of "Glee" Fame Sings Anthem Before 2010 MLB All-Star Game

The young singing-sensation from the cast of the hit-television show "Glee" performed one of the best renditions of the "Star-Spangled Banner" you're ever likely to hear in your lifetime before the 2010 MLB All-Star, and literally had goosebumps running up my arms when I was listening.

If you ask me, sports events should just all go out there and sign her up for every game they can.

2. Patti LaBelle Sings National Anthem Before Game 4 of the 2009 World Series

Some may criticize LaBelle for giving her rendition a little bit of her own personal, soulful flavor, but if you ask me, all she did was make the song a whole lot better than it's ever been. To me, her critics need to go look on their shelves and see if they have a Grammy Award, and if not, then keep quiet.

I know many believe the only way to sing the national anthem is to do so in the exact same key on every note as it was originally written, but we're a diverse nation, and giving our national anthem a little diversity once in a while only stays true to what we should be all about.

3. Taylor Swift Does Own Version of Anthem Before Game 3 of 2008 World Series

This is another one of those versions you either love or hate, and I have to say I loved it. Swift's bluesy country version of the national anthem was almost syrupy sweet, but avoided being sappy, and the accompanying guitar set just the right tone.

I've never been a huge fan of Taylor's, although I do like a number of her songs, but I have to say she scored an A+ with this performance before Game 3 of the 2008 World Series.

4. Faith Hill Sings National Anthem Before the 1998 MLB All-Star Game

Hill is another artist, like Taylor Swift, that I can't say I'm a huge fan of, although, like Swift, I do like a number of her songs.

However, her rendition of the national anthem before the 1998 MLB All-Star Game was simply stunning, and while the video that's provided in the link is good, it doesn't do it justice, as I remember watching this performance live and being flabbergasted.

5. En Vogue Sings Final National Anthem at Atlanta's Fulton-County Stadium

Hired to sing the national anthem prior to the last game played at Atlanta's Fulton-County Stadium, En Vogue enlisted their incredible harmonies to perform one of the best renditions of the "Star-Spangled Banner" you'll ever hear.

Again, some may criticize it because it's not the stodgy, traditional version they're used to hearing, but I say, too bad.

Honorable Mention:

Although it wasn't musically great, this rendition of the national anthem performed by a handicapped man before a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park on "Disability Awareness Day" was incredibly special, as the crowd helped him out as he stumbled over some of the words.

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All stats and information taken from personal notes and verified at and Yahoo! Sports.

Read more by Daniel Barber aka Hotnuke at TFS Sports.

*Daniel Barber has rooted for all Miami teams since he was a child or since their inception having been born right above Miami.



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Updated Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011