But perhaps I miss Houston the most every single time that someone steps up to the mic to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. Because no one has ever owned and transformed the national anthem the way that Whitney did when she sang it on Feb. 12, 1991.
On Sunday night — before the Kansas City Chiefs tackled the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — it was Reba McEntire who had the daunting task of measuring up to the monumental memory of Houston on the 12th anniversary of her death.
And while the 68-year-old country superstar did an adequate job — it was more serviceable than special — there was nothing transcendent on a day when you hoped that there might be some heavenly inspiration from Houston herself.
Indeed, there have been others — from Luther Vandross (1997) and Mariah Carey (2002) to Beyoncé (2004) and Lady Gaga (2016) — who have done Houston prouder since 1991.
But today, of all days, we wanted more than Reba had to give.
At least she was better than Post Malone, whose “America the Beautiful” probably had Houston rolling over in her grave. Let’s just say, dude isn’t about to win any singing contests.
At least “Rise Up” chanteuse Andra Day — though possessing nowhere near the vaunted vocal powers of peak Houston (who does?) — channeled some of the gospel and jazz vibes of Houston’s national anthem for the ages when she sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
On this night — in remembrance of the Greatest Voice of All — that would have to be enough.