Following in the footsteps of [artist id="1158"]Whitney Houston[/artist], the last singer whose stirring rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl turned into a radio and chart hit, [artist id="2481017"]Jennifer Hudson[/artist]'s take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been issued as a single.
Hudson's label announced that the emotionally rich recording went on sale on iTunes on Tuesday and that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Hudson-King Foundation, which cares for the needs of families who have lost relatives to violent crime. That foundation was set up following the tragic slayings of Hudson's mother, brother and nephew in October and its name honors her mother, Darnell Hudson, and seven-year-old nephew, Julian King.
Hudson lip-synched the anthem at Sunday's Super Bowl XLIII, reportedly at the request of the pre-game show's producer, Rickey Minor. She had previously recorded her vocals at the NFL's request, and though a spokesperson for Hudson could not be reached for confirmation at press time, it is believed that the version for sale is that prerecorded rendition. The information listed on iTunes appears to confirm that, as the release date for the recording, titled "The Star-Spangled Banner (As Performed at Super Bowl XLIII)" is January 30, 2009, two days before the big game.
Houston's legendary take on the National Anthem was released in 1991 — following her lip-synched performance at the game — and was a fundraiser for the soldiers and families of those fighting in the first Gulf War. It reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Hudson's lauded Super Bowl performance was the beginning of a slow reemergence from a self-imposed exile following the murders. Her return to the public eye continues this week with a scheduled performance on Friday at the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year Gala in honor of Neil Diamond and another performance at Sunday's Grammy Awards, where her self-titled debut has garnered four nominations. Hudson's manager also recently said that she's planning a six-week spring tour.