St. Petersburg Times: Super Bowl XXXV
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Super Bowl XXXV Tampa, Florida 2001
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  • The Road to Super Bowl XXXV

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    Super Bowl Notebook

    [Times photo: Pam Royal]
    The Backstreet Boys fly onto stage on surfboards at a recent concert. The Boys will sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

    By BABITA PERSAUD and AMY ABBOTT

    © St. Petersburg Times, published January 17, 2001


    Backstreet Boys will pipe up to music track

    Is it real or is it Memorex?

    Remember what happened the last time the Super Bowl came to Tampa in 1991?

    Before any passes were thrown or quarterbacks sacked, pop star Whitney Houston gave a knockout performance of The Star-Spangled Banner. Thing is, she didn't really sing it live, even though everybody thought she had. She only pretended to sing it while a prerecorded version played over the speakers.

    A cassette single of Houston's anthem, with Tampa Bay's own Florida Orchestra in the background, became a huge hit.

    So when the Backstreet Boys take the stage during Super Bowl XXXV, will it be live?

    Yes, says Bob Best, producer of the pre-game show, "the artists will be performing their parts live."

    There will be a recorded musical track that will play behind the Boys, like karaoke. Ray Charles will be singing America the Beautiful and playing the piano, but the orchestra in the background will be recorded.

    The Backstreet Boys are excited about singing the anthem. They wanted to sing it a cappella, said Best. But he hesitated. "Having music behind them increases production value dramatically," he said.

    Best picked the Backstreet Boys because of Nick Carter, who went to middle school in Tampa and used to live in Ruskin. And it fit into the "Life is Super in Central Florida" theme.

    The Boys will record a version of the national anthem in the studio. Producing the track will be Rickey Minor, who produced Houston's version 10 years ago.

    CBS STARS DESCEND: The perk to a network televising the Super Bowl is that it gets to shamelessly plug its own shows.

    CBS spokeswoman Pam Gorode said the invitations have been sent out and the RSVPs are rolling in. Look for some familiar faces in the stands on game day:

    The cast of Everybody Loves Raymond, including Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton (who plays his wife), Brad Garrett (his brother) and parents Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle; Kathleen Quinlan from Family Law (she played Tom Hanks' wife in the movie Apollo 13); Tyne Daly from Judging Amy (the former star of Cagney & Lacey); Tim Daly from the Fugitive; and Jeff Probst, Survivor host.

    THOSE TOILETS HAVE TO GO: Oh, those celebrities and their needs. A beer company has rented the VIP lounge at a new Ybor City club called FUN, formerly the home of the Rubb, for celebrities performing in pre-game and halftime events.

    It'll be a private getaway for the likes of Sting and the Backstreet Boys should they want to relax during the week of the big game.

    But the beer company had a request before agreeing to rent the room: They wanted assurances those old toilets near the VIP lounge would be replaced. FUN agreed.

    Today's Super Bowl story lineup

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