Faith Hill Recalls Her Backup Plan After Almost Forgetting National Anthem Lyrics

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Faith Hill admits she once almost -- keyword, almost -- forgot the lyrics to the national anthem. But her backup plan -- not that she needed it -- was actually, well, amazing.

The 1883 star and five-time GRAMMY-winning singer appeared Tuesday night on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and recalled being asked to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. Hill said having her favorite team, the Tennessee Titans, taking part actually calmed her nerves, but leading up to it still proved nerve-wracking.

"Singing the national anthem for the Super Bowl was terrifying," she said. "However, when I sang it, the Tennessee Titans happened to make it to the Super Bowl that same year. And I had accepted the honor. I was asked, and I said, 'Oh, my gosh, yes.' And I was like, 'What did I just do?' It's terrifying."

But while recalling that episode, Hill also conjured up a memory that seemingly still haunts her to this day. Hill recalled being asked to sing the national anthem at a Dallas Cowboys playoff game early in her singing career. And, no joke, Hill said she actually forgot the opening lyrics.

"It's one of those songs you know so well and you think, 'I'll never forget the lyrics,'" she explained. "This happened to me before. It was at a playoff game many years prior. I was singing at a Dallas playoff game, the beginning of my career ... and I'm walking out to the center of the field with this very generous guard, this woman that was walking me out, and I say to her, 'Would you happen to know just the first word of the national anthem?'"

Colbert's crowd sitting in the audience burst into laughter. Hill continued, "She says, 'Honey, I don't know.'" Hill said that, if the words hadn't come to her when it was time for her to belt "The Star-Spangled Banner," she would have instead belted out "Amazing Grace."

"I'm just going to sing 'Amazing Grace,' because they'll forgive me for that," she quipped.

Country star Mickey Guyton was recently announced as the national anthem singer for Super Bowl LVI next week at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. When Colbert brought up Guyton's name, Hill cheered loudly for her. Though they haven't met, Hill said she's been a big fan of Guyton's for some time and is rooting for her performance.

"I'm such a huge fan," Hill said. "She is going to slay it!"


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