Gladys Knight bewitches crowd with her gorgeous rendition of the national anthem
Sunday’s Super Bowl had the “Empress of Soul” kick off proceedings with a jaw-dropping rendition of the national anthem amid talks of racial injustices.
Football fans cheered as the announcer introduced the 74-year-old “Hall of Famer” ahead of kick-off to perform the national anthem.
Dressed in a white dress, embellished headband and silver boots Gladys delivered an inspiring rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ as the New England Patriots prepared for battle against the Los Angeles Rams during the Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
As Gladys performed the final notes, six F-16 Fighting Falcons flew over the stadium in a formation which signaled that the game was about to begin. Before her performance, Gladys proudly made a statement later released by the NFL:
“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta.”
For the much anticipated Pepsi Halftime Show, Travis Scott, Maroon 5, and Big Boi performed even though fans urged performers to back out.
The former San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, started the #TakeAKnee movement to protest racial injustices, and performers like Gladys faced criticism for not siding with the campaign.
Instead, Gladys stayed out of the politics and amazed fans with her rendition of the national anthem. During a recent interview, Gladys said:
“Everybody got their opinions, you know, about whatever it is. But once we get into that love thing, it all just comes together and goes wherever, and we end up clapping and having a good time.”
Gladys elaborated on her perspective during an interview with Don Lemon from CNN and added:
"People are going to have their opinions about whatever, and all I can deal with right now is what my heart says. I just want them to know that we have a country that's worth standing up for.”
According to Mark Geragos, performers are “crossing an intellectual picket line” for not joining the boycott over the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick and is of the opinion that these performers care more about their career than doing what is right.
However, Gladys addressed this issue during an interview with ET just ahead of the Super Bowl. She explained that her decision to sing didn’t reflect on her opinion regarding the NFL’s political choices, but to honor her country as she said in a statement:
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice. It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone. I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life.”
As to Glady’s moving rendition of the National Anthem; it is sure to be remembered for a long time to come.