Super Bowl XVI National Anthem: Diana Ross (1982)

THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

Diana Ross National Anthem Super Bowl 2Diana Ross is given credit for being a trailblazer in many regards, but there is one way in which she made history that is almost always forgotten.  According to writer Lorenzo Arguello on the website Business Insider, in an article about Super Bowl National Anthem performances, “Early on, the NFL called on college marching bands like Grambling State University and the U.S. Air Force Academy to perform ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’  The league’s first foray into having pop artists sing the National Anthem came in 1982 when Diana Ross performed.”

Indeed, a look at the history of National Anthem performances during the Super Bowl’s more than 40-year history shows Diana Ross as the first hugely popular music star to kick-off the football game with this important song.  She’d been preceded by singers like Charley Pride and Helen O’Connell, but after Diana’s performance at the 1982 game, she was followed by a long list of pop superstars, including…

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