The National Anthem at Super Bowl 55 is being performed by Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan, who are excited to collaborate despite never having met before they signed on to sing together. The kickoff for the big game is 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, with pre-game festivities beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, so if you don’t want to miss “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful,” be sure to start tuning in at 6 p.m. ET.
Here’s what you need to know about Church and Sullivan and the rest of what CBS has planned for Super Bowl Sunday.
Church Once Vowed Never to Perform the National Anthem
In an interview with the “Today’s Country Radio” podcast (via People), Church revealed that he had vowed that he would never perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” except for at the Super Bowl, but he always assumed the Super Bowl would never ask him — and then once he heard Sullivan sing, he was all in.
“I was floored,” said Church. “I’m a fan. I went in and listened to everything she did. And I had heard her name, but full disclosure, I had not listened [to her music].”
He added, “I’ve said this forever: ‘I will never ever sing the National Anthem…’ it’s so hard. Except the Super Bowl … and then I heard [Sullivan] and I’m not missing a chance to sing with her. And that was it. Once I heard her voice, I said, ‘OK, I’m in.'”
Sullivan Thinks Collaborating With a Different Genre Artist Is Beautiful
In an interview with the Associated Press, Sullivan said that she and Church “come from two very different backgrounds,” but she finds “beauty in blending different lifestyles and different music” and “making something special.”
She also said that she’s “so blessed” to have been asked to perform at the Super Bowl that she’s “still shocked.”
“I don’t really know how I got this opportunity,” said the Grammy-nominated artist, adding, “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. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens after that.”
Sullivan also told Entertainment Tonight that she hopes the performance brings a sense of unity to the proceedings.
“I don’t really know how I got this opportunity.”
“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,” said Sullivan.
Alongside Sullivan and Church, H.E.R. will be performing “America the Beautiful” and The Weeknd is headlining the halftime show.
There will be a four-hour retrospective on Super Bowls’ past airing on CBS from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, then Super Bowl coverage kicks off at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Following the conclusion of the game is the series premiere of Queen Latifah’s new CBS crime show The Equalizer.