Brandy pays homage to Whitney Houston with national anthem performance at NFC Championship

The 42-year-old Brandy appeared to channel Whitney, her late great mentor, who was similarly dressed back in 1991.

Brandy thrilled NFL fans when she sang a soulful rendition of the national anthem before the NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday. 

Clad in a white Prada tracksuit, the 42-year-old star appeared to channel her mentor, the late great Whitney Houston, who was similarly dressed when she gave what is considered the preeminent performance of the anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991. 

Brandy performs the national anthem before the NFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium Sunday in Inglewood. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fans watching the Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers noticed the similarities on Twitter instantly. One wrote: “One thing about Brandy, she’s gonna always find a way to pay homage to Whitney Houston,” sharing a side-by-side image. 

Another noted that the singer-from-childhood even perfected the tiniest details: “Down to the cross earrings. Brandy don’t play about her Whitney!!”

The Today show reported that last year, Rickey Minor, Houston’s musical director, said the widely adored singer was dressed in the iconic white tracksuit in order to be comfortable and cheer on her team, the New York Giants, who were playing the Buffalo Bills. 

“Whitney’s thing was, she was there to cheer on the New York Giants,” Minor said. “She was there for that, and after she performed, she wanted to be comfortable to go and sit in her box and relax and watch the game. So it’s like not putting on the makeup and the gowns and stuff… it was really, I’m at a football game. I’m not at the Met.”

Brandy’s Prada outfit and heels may have been a little less comfortable, but it’s possible that she was also cheering on her hometown team, the Los Angeles Rams, who are headed to the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Feb. 13, also at SoFi Stadium. 

Houston and Brandy co-starred in the 1997 Disney live-version of Cinderella. Last year, in an exclusive with theGrio, Brandy said, “I’m very blessed to have experienced what I experienced in ’97 with Cinderella, with a multicultural cast, diverse artists from Whitney Houston to Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, all of these amazing people … just to have that experience is just something I can keep with me forever.”

“And then to share it with my daughter now and this new generation, I just think it’s going to touch them,” she continued. “It’s going to inspire them to dream big dreams … they’re going to love it. It’s going to bring joy to so many families.”

Houston, one of the executive producers of the 1997 film, reportedly handpicked Brandy for the role. 

In an interview with People last year, Brandy said of the film and of working with Houston, “My childhood dreams were to be a singer, touch as many people as I could, and to meet Whitney Houston, just meet her. So to meet her, hang out with her and sing with her, it was unbelievable. For her to cast me in such a role, the first Black princess, I don’t know the words to really describe what that feels like.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio podcasts “Dear Culture” or “Acting Up?” Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!