WASHINGTON — To kick off Super Bowl 55 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the Kansas City Chiefs, R&B star Jazmine Sullivan and country singer Eric Church joined forces on Sunday to sing their rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The duo proved why they are multiple Grammy-nominated stars in their own right, blending their vocals beautifully to create a memorable, enjoyable performance.
Church, wearing a purple jacket and jeans, started the performance solo before Sullivan joined with gems in her hair while wearing a white pantsuit.
The pair paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston, who arguably performed the best national anthem in 1991 in Tampa. Fireworks and military planes flew over during the performance as well.
They finished the song singing together — Church letting Sullivan stand front and center with her beaming vocals and him right behind her, melding in epically like a perfect teammate.
With 22 Grammys between them, Church was stepping out of his comfort zone for the anthem in more than one way. Variety reports Church said he had never listened to Sullivan's music before being asked to do the duet. But said after listening to her, he was "floored" and that "she may be the best singer."
Church also reportedly told Apple Music Country that he vowed to never perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" because it was vocally challenging. “I’m not Chris Stapleton," Church said.
OVER UNDER NATIONAL ANTHEM SUPER BOWL 2021
Oddsmakers set a length for the Super Bowl national anthem -- this year the number is typically around two minutes.
Both Church and Sullivan sang for 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
WHO IS ERIC CHURCH?
Church, a 10-time Grammy nominee, released his debut album in 2006 and has topped the country charts with songs like “Drink In My Hand,” “Springsteen,” “Talladega” and “Record Year.”
He’s released multiple multiplatinum and platinum albums and was named entertainer of the year at last year’s Country Music Association Awards.
WHO IS JAZMINE SULLIVAN?
Sullivan rose to the top of the R&B charts in 2008 with her debut single and album. She’s earned 12 Grammy nominations and written songs for Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Monica.
Her new album, “Heaux Tales,” debuted at No. 4 on this week’s all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart.
“My mom and my dad are going to go with me. This is a moment for all of us. They have supported me in this industry for so long," said Sullivan in an interview with the Associated Press before the game. “The fact that I’m able to be on the biggest stage you can be on — this is an amazing thing to experience with them."
Reactions from Twitter
Many on social media reacted to the flawless rendition of the national anthem. Here's what Twitter users said:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.