When Vanessa Williams takes the mike Jan. 28 to sing the national anthem before Super Bowl XXX, she can rejoice — and not just at the thought of joining the likes of Whitney Houston and Garth Brooks in doing her patriotic duty. In 1995, singing Francis Scott Key‘s most popular single virtually guaranteed a rockets’-red-glare-type career boost. Consider the star-spangled beneficiaries.
Singer: Kathie Lee Gifford
Date/Event: Jan. 29, Super Bowl XXIX
Key Effect: The Kathie Lee Collection, a Wal-Mart clothing line, takes off, exceeding more than $150 million in sales.
Date/Event: Feb. 12, NBA All-Star Game
Key Effect: Her self-titled debut album sells more than 3 million copies, and she lands 10 magazine covers as well as her own UPN sitcom, Moesha.
Singer: Darius Rucker
Date/Event: Oct. 1, game 1 of the 1995 World Series
Key Effect: Cracked Rear View proceeds to pass the 12-million mark in sales (more than Pink Floyd’s The Wall) and is nominated for two Grammys.
Singer: Chrissie Hynde
Date/Event: Oct. 24, game 3 of the 1995 World Series
Key Effect: She guest-stars on Friends as a professional folksinger who temporarily replaces Phoebe at Central Perk.