Whitney Houston’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ To Wave Again

Singer's 1991 rendition of national anthem to be re-released; proceeds to go to police, firefighter funds.

While choosing new tunes for her upcoming album, one of Whitney Houston’s old hits inspired some feelings of patriotism.

According to her label, Houston, who had been in the process of picking songs for the LP with Arista CEO L.A. Reid before last Tuesday’s terrorist strikes, decided to do her part to help the country recover by agreeing to have her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” re-released.

Houston has waived her royalty rights to the recording and instead the proceeds will be split between the New York Firefighters Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police Fund, Arista said.

The singer originally performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” right before the start of Super Bowl XXV in 1991; the nation was embroiled in the Persian Gulf War at the time. The patriotic feeling of her stirring cover resonated so strongly with the public that it was released as a single, and earned a gold certification in April 1991. Those profits went to the Gulf War Crisis Fund.

Other members of the music industry have also stepped up to help in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Michael Jackson plans to record a song — which is said to be in the vein of “We Are the World” — with such superstars as Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child and ‘NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake; the proceeds of the song will go to survivors and families of victims in the attacks (see “Jackson Taps Britney, More For Song To Help Terrorism Victims” ). Backstreet Boys, Madonna, Incubus and other artists plan to donate the proceeds from their concerts to relief efforts. Parent companies of most of the major record labels have pledged to donate millions of dollars as well (see “Musicians From Madonna To Godsmack Pledge Aid” ).

There is no word on when Houston will enter the studio to begin recording her new album, Arista said. That LP will be her first under the $100 million recording contract she signed with the label in August.