Chris Stapleton’s Super Bowl national anthem makes Nick Sirianni cry
Here’s why these 2013 super bowl commercials are so memorable
USA Today’s Ralphie Aversa looks back at the top three Ad Meter voted Super Bowl commercials from 2013.
Ad Meter, USA TODAY
With nearly as much attention paid to the music as the game during the Super Bowl, the trifecta of artists who took the field Sunday prior to kickoff knew the importance of their platform.
Chris Stapleton, Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”) and Babyface were tapped for the honors.
Country belter Stapleton, whose brawny voice is a hallmark of his numerous hits, played guitar and carried the national anthem with his usual humble approach.
The ever-shaggy Stapleton – not wearing his hallmark cowboy hat – hit some big vocal notes over his subdued guitar picking.
Stapleton’s quietly affecting rendition moved Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and center Jason Kelce to tears as they stood on the sideline. The country star’s swoops on the anthem’s final notes sent the Arizona crowd into spasms of cheers.
This marks the third consecutive year that a country singer has been tapped to perform the national anthem. Eric Church shared duties with Jazmine Sullivan in 2021 and Mickey Guyton presented a soaring rendition in 2022.
Stapleton, who slayed a performance of “Higher Ground” with Stevie Wonder at last week’s Grammy Awards, was joined by Troy Kotsur, who performed the national anthem in American Sign Language. Kotsur became the second deaf actor to win an Academy Award for his role in Oscar best picture winner “CODA.”
Gruff-in-voice, teddy-bear-in-demeanor singer and guitarist Stapleton has been on a continual career upswing since breaking through with 2015’s “Traveller” song and album.
Babyface sang ‘America the Beautiful,’ accompanying himself on acoustic guitar
Prior to the national anthem, singer/songwriter/producer Babyface performed “America the Beautiful.”
Strumming an acoustic guitar emblazoned with the American flag, Babyface, wearing his trademark dark sunglasses, hit his notes sweetly and softly as he stood solo on the field. Though background vocals were heard, no other singers were present.
Babyface, born Kenneth Edmonds, is responsible for signing some of the most celebrated names in R&B: TLC, Usher and Toni Braxton among them. His writing bona fides include massive hits for Boyz II Men (“End of the Road”), Madonna (“Take a Bow”), Whitney Houston (“I’m Your Baby Tonight”) and Braxton (“Breathe Again”).
Sheryl Lee Ralph brought theatrical flair to ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ the Black national anthem
As for Ralph, the striking actress and singer infused “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with the type of gusto exhibited during her Emmy acceptance speech last fall.
The song has been sung within Black communities since the early 1900s and has been referred to by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as the Black national anthem.
As she stood on a platform on the State Farm Stadium field, Ralph, wearing a red-and-black Harbijumpsuit that stretched out behind her and long red gloves, smiled and gestured her way through the uplifting song with theatrical verve. She led a choir through the marching cadence, culminating the anthem with a robust finale.
Ralph’s lauded role on “Abbott Elementary” comes after decades working in TV (“Moesha,” “Ray Donovan”) and 40 years after she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Deena Jones in “Dreamgirls.”
Get ready for Super Bowl 57:
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