Vanessa Williams in 1996 as she sang the National Anthem. (Getty Images)
In a new interview from New Orleans on Thursday, Williams tells “omg! Insider’s” Kevin Frazier that she too lip-synced the National Anthem when she performed at the 1996 Super Bowl, which some have called one of the top renditions ever.
Vanessa Williams and omg! Insider's Kevin Frazier in New Orleans.
“Whitney [Houston] had done hers before me and the network wants you to pre-record, so you pre-record with your orchestra,” the former “Desperate Housewives” star explained. “You lay down the track. Then when it’s time to perform you lip sync, because you’ve got flyovers with the jets, you’ve got pyrotechnics behind you and you want to make sure that the sound is consistent. And that’s what the network asks of you. So, there’s no ‘Can she sing it? Can she not? Is it live or is it not?’ There’s no way you’re gonna get a live orchestra on the field at the same time and that’s part of what they want as a network.”
Williams’ performance that day – just before the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 – also honored the astronauts of the Challenger space shuttle, which had exploded 10 years earlier, killing all aboard. “It was one of the highlights of my life," she says. "And when you walk out on that field, it’s a sea of color and people. It’s surreal and an honor too!"
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