As the Los Angeles Rams geared up to face off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday (Jan. 30) at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., it was Brandy who set the tone for the event as she delivered a breathtaking rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Escorted by her brother, Ray J, the Vocal Bible took the stage in a white Prada tracksuit with elements of red and black, along with white Louboutin pumps. In both style and vocals, Brandy channeled the spirit of her mentor, the late Whitney Houston, with a performance we’re sure she would have been proud of. Brandy’s stylist, Ashley Sean Thomas captioned a photo of her look, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
The 42-year-old Queens star’s distinct, raspy tone filled the stadium with some fans feeling as though they were transported back to the 1991 Super Bowl. Following her performance, Brandy took to Instagram posting highlights including a side-by-side photo of herself and Houston, captioned, “What a moment. Thank you God for courage and a solid foundation. I love you.”
Brandy has never shied away from paying homage to Houston and honoring their special relationship. When speaking on Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Brandy reflected in a 2021 interview, “We had some beautiful, funny moments that I can remember forever. She’s really my angel, and I’m just so appreciative to her for this opportunity.”
Whitney Houston’s rendition of the national anthem became so popular that her label released it as a charity single and is regarded as one of Houston’s greatest performances of all time. For more, listen to former VIBE Editor in Chief Danyel Smith break down the history behind it on Black Girl Songbook.
Watch Brandy’s performance above and Whitney Houston’s below.