Jazmine Sullivan is the R&B singer who will be singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LV. When she was told she was going to be the voice behind the anthem this year, she was in disbelief.
“I’m still shocked, I don’t really know how I got this opportunity,” she told the Tampa Bay Times. “But I’m ready to take it and do my thing. I feel like I’m representing my people. I’ma go there and do my thing and be myself and sing the anthem the way I want to, the way I feel it in my spirit,” she continued. “I’m looking forward to seeing what happens after that.”
Sullivan, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is following in the footsteps of one of her idols, Whitney Houston, who sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991. She had the chance to meet Houston before her 2012 death and said that the icon was extremely impressed with her vocal ability.
“I did one of the BET shows and I had sang and Whitney was in the front seat and she stood up when I sang,” the 33-year-old said. “She was like the only person standing up. I was blown away, in my feelings, everything, at the fact that she even knew me and stood up and was giving me love in that way. I feel like I never really got my moment with her. Obviously, a lot of people feel that way about someone like her. I feel like I was so close. I never really got my moment. I wish I did. I really do.”
Jazmine Sullivan Retired From in 2011
After the release of her 2008 debut album, Fearless, and her 2010 album Love Me Back, she said via Twitter that she was retiring from music in 2011. In a series of tweets she explained that doing music didn’t bring her the same amount of joy and fulfillment it once did.
i’m making an official announcement that i am taking a break from music … i’m trying to figure out who i am … w/out a mike, paper or pen. i promised myself when it wasn’t fun anymore i wouldn’t do it. and here i am. i love u all and appreciate u soooooo much … u have no idea how much u’ve inspired me and fed my ego. but the truth is that i have to believe in me whether you all do or not. and thats what i’m lookin for. that belief in myself. me. I. i love us. thanks for being here for me and riding with me on this journey. let us continue.
She then re-entered music and released her third project, Reality Show, in 2015. She recently released her fourth project, Heaux Tales, on January 8, 2021.
Jazmine Sullivan is a Domestic Violence Survivor
Once she came out of retirement, she revealed that her decision to quit music was influenced by her being in an abusive relationship.
“I had a horrible relationship that resulted in domestic abuse at the time,” she said during an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast.
During the abusive relationship, she admitted that she even thought about trying drugs to alleviate the pain.
“I just remember the feeling of feeling helpless, and just feeling bad and wanting to be lifted out of that space,” she told HipHollywood. “At the time, the only thing I could think of was — ‘let me try something different.’”
During an interview with Vulture, the “Lost One” singer said she is still shocked she went through such a traumatic experience.
“I never could have imagined I would end up in an abusive relationship, allowing that while I’m literally doing huge shows and blowing up in my own right,” she said. “I never want to be that girl again, and I don’t want anybody to experience that.”
Sullivan’s Mother Recently Completed Her Breast Cancer Treatment
In January 2021, Sullivan revealed that her mother, Pam Sullivan, had completed her final round of chemotherapy.
“Today is my moms final day of chemo!,” she wrote in a January 10 tweet. “This is a huge milestone! Of all the blessings that are pouring in rt now… that is the only thing that matters to me!! I’m in tears and in awe of God’s grace n mercy! Anyone going thru breast cancer please know I’m praying for u!”
She first shared her mother’s diagnosis via social media in May 2020.
“Late October 2019 our world was flipped upside down when U were diagnosed w IBC (inflammatory breast cancer),” she captioned a photo of she and her mother on Instagram. “Our days were no longer filled w convos of u telling me to hurry up and finish my project, but of chemo treatments and hospital visits. S*** got real, Fast. But if being your daughter has taught me one thing it is how to work w something ugly, painful even, and make it a work of art. So that’s what We’ve been doing since October. Trying to make beauty of this ugliness.”
Sullivan Will be Working on a Conversation Series Called “Girl Talk”
Sullivan will be developing a conversation series that is based on her latest EP, Heaux Tales. According to W Magazine, it will be called “Girl Talk” and will show Sullivan sitting down “for dinner with the women featured on Heaux Tales and delve deeper into their stories.”
I thought it would be fun and cute to talk about the stuff that we talk about as women around a dinner table. I just think the conversations are so funny, but they can also be deep—you gain so much wisdom and knowledge from them. You can get everything from talking to a group of women.
For me, it was an extension of the record, visually showing what it feels like to be in that space, all the emotions you go through while talking. You literally go from laughing your butt off to crying and exposing truths about yourself, brought to tears.
She isn’t sure what platform it will be on yet.