Trio of anthems from Chris Stapleton, Babyface, Sheryl Lee Ralph kicks off Super Bowl LVII
Country singer Chris Stapleton kicked off Super Bowl LVII with a soulful rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" — but one anthem was not enough this year before the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs began.
Strumming a pink guitar decorated with the American flag, R&B legend Babyface performed a melodic "America the Beautiful" and "Abbot Elementary" star Sheryl Lee Ralph, in a stunning bright red caped pantsuit, sang what's been dubbed the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
Babyface performs "America the Beautiful" before Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Sheryl Lee Ralph performs "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Stapleton, who has dominated country music awards in recent years, played and sang the national anthem, dressed in all black and wearing sunglasses.
He was joined by Academy Award-winning "Coda" actor Troy Kotsur, who performed the national anthem in American Sign Language.
Colin Denny signed "America the Beautiful" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was signed by Justina Miles.
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The length of the national anthem has become one of the countless game elements up for betting.
Oddsmakers put the over-under on the 44-year-old’s "Star Spangled Banner" at 2 minutes, 5 seconds.
He clocked in slightly under at 2 minutes, 2 seconds.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and starting center Jason Kelce both had tears in their eyes during the performance.
Stapleton, an eight-time Grammy winner, is considered one of the country’s most respected and beloved musicians. He took home three Grammys last year and was honored with a Country Music Association Award for male vocalist of the year in 2021.
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Babyface, who won 12 Grammys, has garnered multiple hits throughout his lauded career including "Whip Appeal," "When Can I See You" and "Give U My Heart" with Toni Braxton. He’s the co-founder of LaFace Records and collaborated with a number of big names including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Ella Mai and Patti LaBelle.
Ralph won an Emmy as a first-time nominee at the age of 66 last year. She has spent decades in the business with multiple iconic roles from "Dreamgirls" on Broadway in the 1980s to the stepmother to the title character on the 1990s sitcom "Moesha."
During the anthem, U.S. Navy conducted a flyover to commemorate 50 years of women flying in the service.
The flyover featured planes from three tactical aircraft squadrons, and an all-female aviation team of ten participated in the flight.
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Super Bowl LVII kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Nine-time Grammy Award winner Rihanna is the headline act of this year’s halftime show.
This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.