A flu-stricken Pink struggles with national anthem at Super Bowl, emerges triumphant

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Music

When pop superstar Pink revealed on Instagram Saturday that she had caught the flu — likely from her two young children — fan speculation turned to wondering if the multi-Grammy Award winner would be able to make it through her Super Bowl Sunday duties on Feb. 4.

These weren’t any ordinary duties, even for a vocalist in the best of health. Pink was scheduled to deliver the national anthem ahead of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. In addition to the anthem being a notoriously difficult composition to nail, the singer noted that she had extra incentive to do well, having longed for this chance since seeing Whitney Houston perform it at Super Bowl XXV back in 1991.

Pink performs the national anthem before Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

“I will tell you, this is one of the biggest honors of my life, singing this song in front of my family, my military family,” she noted on social media, adding, “And the EAGLES!?!?!”

The Philadelphia fan, who’s well-loved for being down to earth, charmingly spat out a throat lozenge before starting her performance. From there, she modeled her performance after her anthem idol Houston, starting off the song with high intensity from the very first note.

From there, it would be difficult for anyone to tell she was feeling sick, as she powered through the anthem with unrelenting energy — and a slightly faster pace than most anthems of the past.

Perhaps she was trying to finish as quickly as possible due to feeling under the weather, as she began to visibly struggle slightly toward the end of the anthem. By the time she approached the ultimate high note in “land of the free,” Pink didn’t quite hit the mark, but did not give in, finishing the song at the same forceful — if slightly off — level she started.

Social media was by and large kind to the vocalist, making note of the fact that blasting through such a high-profile appearance when feeling ill was nothing short of praiseworthy.