Country singer Chris Stapleton brought tears to everyone's eyes as he performed a soulful rendition of the National Anthem to open Super Bowl LVII. The eight-time Grammy winner took a bluesy approach to the Star Spangled Banner, infusing it with emotion without going over the top. And in doing so, he provided one of the most memorable moments of the evening.
Stapleton took center stage with his Fender Telecaster, as a large American flag was spread across the field behind him. Dressed in black, the Kentucky native's sober, pared-down approach to the anthem won over attendees, players, and fans watching on television. As the camera panned to the sidelines, it was impossible to ignore the sight of Philadelphia Eagles lineman Jason Kelce and head coach Nick Sirianni with tears in their eyes.
Cinema lovers might also notice a familiar face on the field with Stapleton. CODA star Troy Kotsur, the first deaf man to win an acting Oscar, was on hand to provide a sign language interpretation. And to top things off, an all-female flyover of Navy strike and electronic aircraft soared above the stadium as Stapleton belted out the final notes of the song.
This stripped-down rendition of the National Anthem was contrasted with two other performances used to kick off the 2023 Super Bowl. Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds gave a similarly demure spin to America the Beautiful, while Sheryl Lee Ralph gave a high-energy performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often called the Black National Anthem.
All three performances have been posted on YouTube by the NFL for anyone who missed them or wants to watch them again.
Chris Stapleton's bluesy rendition of the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVII brought the stadium to tears.
Stapleton's rendition was part of a trio of pregame performances, including Babyface's version of America the Beautiful.
Sheryl Lee Ralph's Lift Every Voice and Sing provided a high-energy contrast to the other two performances.