Andra Day has moved Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium and millions of viewers around the world with a touching rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at Super Bowl LVIII.
Also known as the Black national anthem, Day delivered an emotional iteration of the timeless song in the midst of Black History Month. The hymn, originally penned by James Weldon Johnson with music by his brother John Rosamund Johnson, reflects on the ongoing struggle for racial equality and imagines a liberated future for Black Americans.
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Dressed in a gray coat with matching pants and heels, Day took center field and imbued the powerful lyrics with her own personal flair, flanked by six backup singers. “Facing the rising sun of our new day begun/Let us march on ’til victory is won,” she sang, showing off her vocal range.
Her performance was met with a rapturous reception from the crowd.
Sheryl Lee Ralph performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the Super Bowl last year, with American Sign Language performer Justina Miles offering her interpretation alongside her. Alicia Keys and Mary Mary have previously performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” for the Super Bowl, though Ralph was the first Black woman to perform the ballad on the field before the game.
Day rounds out a trio of Super Bowl openers including Reba McEntire, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Post Malone, who performed “America the Beautiful.” Their performances kicked off the biggest football game of the year, in which the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Fransisco 49ers. Usher will perform the much-anticipated halftime show.
Day recently played a role in Titus Kaphar’s “Exhibiting Forgiveness,” which was an official selection in the U.S. Dramatic Competition of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. She also won a Golden Globe in 2021 for her portrayal of Billie Holiday or “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
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