The Joint Service Color Guard took the field to present the performance of the Star Spangled Banner. Sullivan donned an all white ensemble, while Church wore his signature sunglasses and a purple jacket. He opened up the song, playing the guitar and delivering a gentle performance. Sullivan then chimed in with a sweet and powerful voice. The camera panned to the players who were standing and swaying to the music. Fireworks were then set off and the two continued to bring more and more power to the performance.
The performance took place ahead of the big game and was delivered close in time to H.E.R.’s rendition of America the Beautiful.
Both songs were also performed in sign language by deaf rapper Warren “Wawa” Snipe, as reported by the NY Times. And, according to CBS Sports, this was only the second time that The National Anthem at the Super Bowl was ever made into a duet.
Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, Sullivan spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the message she was hoping to deliver with their performance, She said, “I’m excited, I think it will be cool to blend the different sounds of music and just show some unity. I just hope that it brings unity and it shows that you can be from two different parts of life and come together, you know, for a good common cause, basically.”
Eric Church Said He Would Never Perform The National Anthem
Eric Church admitted on “Today’s Country with Kelleigh Bannen” that he said he’d never publicly perform The National Anthem. According to Variety, Church’s reaction to being asked to sing at the Super Bowl was, “I’ve said this forever, ‘I will never ever sing the national anthem.’ It’s so hard. Except the Super Bowl … I mean, I’m not Chris Stapleton. I fully assumed they’re never going to ask me. So, this is the first.”
When Sullivan got the news that she would be performing at the Super Bowl, Entertainment Tonight said she shared her joy via her Instagram story. Online, she wrote, “The Super Bowl wasn’t even a tangible goal for me, so I never even dreamed it!! O but God He will pour out a blessing for u, that u have not room enough to receive you. SMH I’ll shout RT now. Grateful is all I can say.”
Recently, Sullivan revealed on social media that her mom had been battling cancer and that she was done with her most recent treatments.
Producer Adam Blackstone Put the Gig Together for Church and Sullivan
Church told Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio that producer Adam Blackstone set up the collaboration of Church and Sullivan. Church explained that Blackstone “was the guy that set the track up and said, ‘Hey, these are the two guys I want.’ And it was really credit to him. They come in and go, ‘I want this guy and I want this girl.’”
Blackstone is a Grammy winner, who has worked with many A-list music artists including Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, Adam Levine, Eminem, and Rihanna. In addition, this year’s Super Bowl isn’t the only Super Bowl production he has helped with in his career. In fact, according to his official website, Blackstone helped “cultivate” Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s halftime show performance at last year’s Super Bowl.