In her first public appearance since the tragic murders of her mother, brother and nephew in October, Oscar winner and "American Idol" vet
Stepping onto a small blue platform, Hudson took a deep breath and leaned easily into the microphone, letting loose her signature crystalline vocals on the country's anthem, bringing the song a dreamy quality that rivaled one of the other great renditions of the anthem at the big game: Whitney Houston's legendary soul shakedown in 1991 during the first Gulf War.
Confident and immaculately turned out in a dark blue military style jacket, long white top and black leggings, Hudson gave a performance for the ages, easily hitting the song's notoriously tricky melody and nailing a pair of long notes at the end that sent shivers through the TV. Pouring her heart into the music on the year's largest TV stage, Hudson instantly set a new standard.
Before Hudson took the stage,
Hudson had been in virtual seclusion since the murders, but began a tentative step back into the spotlight last week when she began filming the long-delayed video for her single, "If This Isn't Love." The Super Bowl slot is the lead-up to her appearance at the Grammy Awards on February 8, where she is nominated for four awards for her self-titled debut.
Will Lil Wayne grab all the gramophones? Is Katy Perry going to tell her girl rivals to kiss off? Can Coldplay march off with a win? MTV News is all over the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, so stay tuned for interviews, analysis and more before, during and after the big night, Sunday, February 8.