Seattle Seahawks

National anthem singer at Super Bowl inspired by Whitney Houston’s performance

Idina Menzel hopes to deliver another iconic performance Sunday when she sings the national anthem before Super Bowl 49.

Menzel is a Tony Award-winning actress but is most famous for singing “Let it Go” in the movie “Frozen” and for having her name butchered by John Travolta at last year’s Academy Awards.

But Menzel says she’s dreamed of singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl since she was a little girl. She still remembers being inspired by Whitney Houston’s famous performance months after the start of the Gulf War in 1991.

“It’s not just about singing all those high notes,” Menzel said. “It’s that she radiated. There was just something so beautiful that was coming from her that day. When you sing songs that are done by everybody, the only good thing you can aspire to do is just bring yourself to it and do your best.

“She just put her whole heart and soul into it.”

And that’s Menzel’s plan for Sunday.

“I’d like to not get swept away in the fact that it’s the Super Bowl and remember what I’m singing about,” Menzel said. “It’s actually a very poignant song and I’m proud to be singing about my country.”

When she’s done, she’ll root for the Seahawks. She’s from New York, where rooting for a team from Boston is taboo.

But which New York team does she prefer?

“Let’s just say,” she said, “I grew up watching football every Sunday with my dad and I realized one day in college when asked that question, why I didn’t favor one or the other as much, and I realized, I’m the daughter of a betting man and whoever covered the spread was who I was going to root for.”