Reba McEntire, Andra Day, and Post Malone kicked off America’s unofficial holiday with entertainment ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.
Country music sensation McEntire delivered a stunning rendition of the national anthem, the soulful R&B artist Day performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and the talented rapper and vocalist Malone mesmerized the audience with an acoustic rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Despite widespread speculation, while Taylor Swift graced the event with her presence, she did not grace the field with a performance. Notably, Malone has an upcoming collaboration with Swift on the track “Tortured Poets Department,” slated for release in April.
“It’s nice,” Malone told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe earlier this month. “She’s so sweet and so kind and talented and she hit me up and said, let’s do it. And I was like, hell yeah.”
Malone, known for his distinctive tattoos, shares a unique connection with Swift through his Kansas City Chiefs tattoo. Notably, Kelce, a tight end for the Chiefs, is set to play in his second consecutive Super Bowl, this time against the San Francisco 49ers.
The tattoo tale traces back to a game of beer pong, as recounted by Malone himself. He admitted to losing the game against Kelce and Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, resulting in a wager where Malone pledged to get a KC tattoo adorned with their autographs. With a tattoo artist conveniently present, Malone fulfilled his promise, forever marking the occasion on his body.
In contrast, McEntire’s connection to performing the national anthem is deeply rooted in her career’s beginnings. Reflecting on her longstanding association with the anthem, McEntire revealed that she has been singing it for five decades, a tradition that kickstarted her journey in the music industry. Her inaugural performance took place at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City back in 1974, a pivotal moment that paved the way for her singing career.
Meanwhile, Day’s rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at Super Bowl LVIII was imbued with reverence for its historical significance. Delving into the gospel essence of the song, often referred to as the Black national anthem, Day emphasized its spiritual essence during a pre-game press event. She shared a poignant conversation with her mother, acknowledging the song’s hymn-like quality and expressing hope for a future where such themes of unity and freedom become commonplace in musical discourse.
Speaking to Lowe, the singer revealed a significant milestone in her career, spanning five decades of performing the national anthem.
“I’m truly honored. This marks my 50th year of singing the national anthem,” McEntire shared. “It all began at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City back in 1974, where my singing debut led to securing my first singing contract. It feels like things have come full circle.”
At a pre-game press event, the Grammy-winning singer discussed her approach to “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” acknowledging its rich historical resonance as the Black national anthem and emphasizing its gospel essence.
“For me, this song holds a deep spiritual significance; it’s a form of worship,” Day shared. “In a recent conversation with my mother, she aptly described it as a hymn, and I couldn’t agree more.” She expressed her hope for a future where singing this song, along with others who advocate for liberty, freedom, and unity, becomes a normalized practice, transcending the need for further discussion.