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The 10 best Super Bowl national anthem performances



The 10 best Super Bowl national anthem performances

Before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers butt helmets with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Super Bowl 2021, country star Eric Church and R&B diva Jazmine Sullivan will unite the nation — and music fans of different genres — by singing the national anthem.

But who are the most super “Star-Spangled Banner” singers of all at the big game?

Here, we rank the Top 10 to ever belt it out.

10. Demi Lovato (2020)

The national anthem is perfect for a singer like Lovato, who has the pipes but sometimes lacks the personality as an artist. T

echnically, the “Give Your Heart a Break” belter hit all the right notes — and looked fab doing so, in her white pantsuit — and delivered a purist’s rendition that scored with the Super Bowl masses.

9. Renée Fleming (2014) 

Backed by the Armed Forces Chorus, the soprano showed all those dudes on the field who was the head diva in charge with her classical powers that turned MetLife Stadium into the Metropolitan Opera House for three minutes. 

8. Mariah Carey (2002)

Just a few months after 9/11, Carey did the honors at the New Orleans Superdome, where Tom Brady won the first of his six Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots. (He’s going for his seventh quarter-backing the Buccaneers on Sunday.) Giving her vocals some of that Mimi melisma — complete with her trademark whistle notes — a peak Carey reminded us that we belonged together when we needed it most.

7. Billy Joel (1989 and 2007)

Strong Island’s own piano man has the distinction of being one of only two singers — the other being Aaron Neville — to perform the national anthem twice at the Super Bowl, so he has to make this list. And they were two very different renditions: In 1989, he sang it a cappella, while in 2007 — with decidedly less hair — he played the keys as he sang Francis Scott Key’s lyrics.

6. The Chicks (2003)

The artists formerly known as the Dixie Chicks — no strangers to political controversy — let their three-part harmonies melt the nation into sweet unity. With minimal accompaniment, the purity of their voices met the moment by bringing home the lyrics and diffusing all divisiveness.

5. Luther Vandross (1997)

The sultan of soul responsible for a generation of babies being made, Vandross came the closest that anyone has ever come to turning “The Star-Spangled Banner” into a quiet-storm slow jam in 1997. All it was missing was some incense.

4. Beyoncé (2004)

Befitting the hometown queen that she was, Bey was offered the choice of either singing the national anthem or performing during the halftime show in her native Houston in 2004. She opted for doing a “Star-Spangled Banner” that proved she had serious vocal game, but the stellar moment was overshadowed by Janet Jackson’s infamous halftime show nip slip. Let’s not forget of course that Bey herself went on to slay the halftime show not once but twice (2013 and 2016).

3. Lady Gaga (2016)

Five years before she sang the national anthem at this year’s presidential inauguration, Gaga blew away the men in tights with her powerhouse pipes in 2016. And for good measure, she came back to headline the halftime show in Houston the very next year.

2. Jennifer Hudson (2009)

Beyoncé’s Oscar-winning “Dreamgirls” co-star belted those notes fiercer than any linebacker ever could when she took the field at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida, in 2009. The performance was a show of true resilience and strength: Just a few months before, Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were murdered.

1. Whitney Houston (1991)

With a gospel-influenced arrangement inspired by Marvin Gaye, Houston — rocking that iconic white tracksuit, with matching headband — will always be the MVP of Super Bowl national-anthem singers. No doubt, she was the bomb bursting in air that night.

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Ducks escape certain death to visit NYC bagel store




Ducks escape certain death to visit NYC bagel store

This fowl plot to get bread was nearly eggsecuted perfectly.

On Monday, a gang of ducklings and their mama hatched a plan to eat the bill at a Brooklyn bagel store, and were almost successful in their mission thanks to a group of supportive locals. 

“A real-life ‘Make Way For Ducklings’ scene just unfolded in Brooklyn with this mama duck and her babies trying to cross 5th Ave,” Doug Gordon captioned a video he posted to Twitter of the enterprising bird family’s journey from under an NYPD school safety van and directly into oncoming traffic. “Multiple people helped stop traffic to get them safely across the street. But it gets better . . .”

After spotting the endangered crew of bird brains lolling around in the street, locals immediately went into action. 

“A couple of us jumped out to stop traffic so they didn’t get run over, and then they got to the other side. It was adorable, a real Brooklyn-steps-up sort of moment, New Yorkers taking charge,” Gordon told Gothamist. 

Once safely on the sidewalk, the chicks and their mother beelined for Bagel World Park Slope. 

“They were in there a couple minutes, but I didn’t see what happened inside,” Gordon told the publication. “I don’t know whether they decided to come out because they didn’t see anything on the menu they liked, or if they were chased out.”

In Gordon’s video, the fledgling family exits the eatery, lured out by employees tossing breadcrumbs beyond the premises as onlookers label them “so cute.” 

Gordon and another man then trailed the ducks to ensure they made their way across Fourth Street without injury. 

Later, Gordon learned that the ducks had the good fortune of being escorted four more blocks to Prospect Park by other sympathetic humans. 

“Someone said [they had] led them up to Prospect Park, so they got there safely,” Gordon said. “They waddled into the woods, so it’s a happy ending.”

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Endangered corpse flower blooms in Warsaw, drawing crowds




The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, or the corpse flower, at the rare moment of bloom for just a few hours, and emitting rotten meat odor, at the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, June 13, 2021.

WARSAW, Poland — The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, a giant foul-smelling blossom also known as the corpse flower, went into a rare, short bloom at a botanical garden in Warsaw, drawing crowds who waited for hours to see it.

The extraordinary flower, which emits a dead-body odor to attract pollinating insects that feed on flesh, bloomed Sunday. It was already withering early Monday. Those wishing to avoid the smell and crowds could watch it on live video from the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens.

 The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, or the corpse flower, at the rare moment of bloom for just a few hours, and emitting rotten meat odor, at the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, or the corpse flower, at the rare moment of bloom for just a few hours and emitting a rotten meat odor, at the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens, on June 13, 2021.

Hundreds, if not thousands, lined up long into the night Sunday and Monday morning at the conservatory just to be able to pass by the flower and take a picture.

Know also as the Amorphophallus titanum, the flowering plant has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, which can be up to 10 feet high. Its compound flower is composed of a hollow, tall spadix with small flowers and a spathe, with one big, furrowed petal that is green on the outside and deep burgundy red on the inside. It’s blooming is rare and unpredictable.

The plant only grows in the wild in the rainforests of Sumatra, but it is endangered there due to deforestation. Cultivation at botanical gardens, where they are a great visitor attraction, has helped its preservation. It’s first known blooming outside Sumatra was in 1889 at London’s Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.

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Europe carbon prices expected to soar amid tougher climate goals




Steam rises from the cooling towers of the coal power plant of RWE, one of Europe's biggest electricity and gas companies in Niederaussem, Germany, March 3, 2016.

LONDON – Carbon prices in the European Union’s emissions trading system are expected to rise significantly in the next decade due to tougher climate goals, market participants said in an industry survey published on Monday.

The EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) is the largest carbon market in the world, covering around 45% of the bloc’s output of greenhouse gases and charging emitters for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit.

The survey by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) found members expect carbon prices in the EU ETS to average $57 a tonne between 2021 and 2025 and $71.06 a tonne between 2026 and 2030.

This is mainly due to a tougher EU goal of cutting emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Last year’s survey predicted an average price of 31.71 euros a tonne for the third phase of the ETS which runs from 2021 to 2030. Benchmark prices in the ETS currently trade around $64.24 a tonne.

Britain’s domestic emissions trading scheme started trading in May this year. The majority of survey respondents expect it will link with the EU scheme by 2023.

Participants anticipate that the average global carbon price needed by 2030 to put the world on track to meet goals to curb global temperature rise is $76.61 a tonne, up from last year’s expectation of $67.84 a tonne.

IETA’s members include banks, exchanges and energy and industrial firms. The association received responses from 158 member representatives for the survey.

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