TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford chats with Hoda Kotb about her experience singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, and reveals that back-up tracks are more common than you'd think.
Kathie Lee is breaking with tradition and not having a big Super Bowl party this year. This means she won't have to sit through an annual custom: watching herself sing.
Kathie Lee's husband Frank Gifford apparently likes to show party guests a video of KLG singing the national anthem at the 1995 Super Bowl in Miami. On TODAY Friday, Hoda asked her if she had been nervous to sing in front of so many people, and KLG replied that she got great advice from Barry Manilow: don't look at the scoreboard to see how many are actually watching. She passed the wisdom on to the next year's singer, Vanessa Williams.
KLG also said that the public shouldn't get upset about singers lip-syncing (CC: Beyonce). There's really no other way to do it, she explained, given the scale of the event and how specifically producers need to time the show.
In fact, she had asked to sing it live, but the organizers preferred she sing a recorded version.
"I was gonna do it a cappella," she said. "They make you lip-sync."
As for this year, KLG is curious what Frank has up his sleeve.
"I wonder if Frank's gonna make me watch it," she said of her turn at the mic. If not, she can lip-sync along with this year's anthem-belter, Alicia Keyes.
Julieanne Smolinski is a TODAY contributor who routinely practices for her inevitable gig singing at the Super Bowl.