Super Bowl National Anthem 2013: New Beyonce Rendition Sets Bar High for Keys

Ethan GrantAnalyst IFebruary 1, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 31:  Beyonce speaks onstage at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Press Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 31, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Beyonce may have a black mark on her singing career after admitting that she lip-synced the national anthem at the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama.

However, there's no denying that she knows how to bring it with a turned-on microphone in her hand.

Beyonce went head-first at critics on Thursday morning when she opened up a Super Bowl XLVII press conference with a brilliant rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," clearly trying to silence critics of her nationally televised fraud.

Now that Alicia Keys is in line to sing the song on Sunday evening, she'll need to vamp up the excitement level to match what Beyonce gave us a sneak peek of on Thursday.

If you haven't seen Thursday morning's a cappella performance, check it out below.

The New Orleans Saints' Twitter account was certainly impressed:

Keys, a big-name pop icon herself, is coming off of a new album release and a track that has started to pick up steam on charts everywhere—"Girl on Fire."

She's well-regarded for her range and ability to improvise notes and sections of songs, and she has already promised that her rendition of the song will be something that has never been heard before. Here's her quote about the Sunday performance, per this MSN report:

I'm really excited about it, I can't even lie. I have to rehearse it totally, as if it's a brand-new song, because it is actually a brand new song in the style that I'll deliver it. I'm actually rehearsing it like a maniac.

There's some clear excitement about this rendition, but after Beyonce's Thursday morning performance, Keys will be under pressure to put on a similarly striking show before kickoff.

Even if Beyonce's early January performance caught people off guard.

The pop star admitted that she lip-synced the anthem at the inauguration earlier in the week (h/t Cindy Boren of the Washington Post), citing poor weather and lack of rehearsal time as reasons why she chose to use the prerecorded track.

She got some harsh criticism from fans and casual bystanders but stood by her stance, as she explained to questioners why she chose to go that route (per Boren's piece):

It was a live television show and a very, very important, emotional show for me, one of my proudest moments. Due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make him and my country proud. So I decided to sing along with my prerecorded track,  which is very common in the music industry. I’m very proud of my performance.

Signing the anthem at the Super Bowl is an honor reserved for some of the biggest stars in the history of the music industry such as Diana Ross, Billy Joel, Cher and Beyonce herself in 2004.

With this new rendition fresh in the minds of NFL fans, Keys will have to keep the bar high when she steps on the field in New Orleans to start the game off right.