Gladys Knight has agreed to sing at Super Bowl LIII.
Gladys Knight will face a very bright spotlight ahead of the kickoff for the upcoming Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Georgia. The seven-time Grammy winner has just agreed to sing the national anthem for the game.
The decision comes amidst controversy and backlash against other performers, particularly Maroon 5 and Travis Scott. Both recently confirmed slots to play the game’s halftime celebration.
Both CBS and the NFL made the announcement of Knight’s participation this week.
The 74-year-old singer will be representing her hometown, as she was born in Atlanta in 1944. Knight is known for her hit songs “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” among others. She’s also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even has her own roadway, the Gladys Knight Highway, in Atlanta.
Other singers who have performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl include the late Aretha Franklin, Cher, Neil Diamond, and the late Whitney Houston. Gladys Knight said of the honor, “I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta.”
She also praised the new social justice platform Inspire Change, saying she is “honored to be a part of its inaugural year.”
As mentioned, other performers have been dealing with serious backlash for their decision to perform.
As far as Travis Scott goes, there have been conflicting reports indicating approval or disapproval from former NFL star and political activist Colin Kaepernick.
A report from Variety suggested that Scott spoke with Kaepernick via phone and had his approval for a performance at the Super Bowl. More specifically, a source told Variety that the two didn’t agree on Scott’s decision to perform, but “had mutual respect and understanding” after their conversation.
Scott also felt that having the NFL donate $500,000 to non-profit social justice organization Dream Corps would “do some good.” The donation was apparently a condition for his participation.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab tweeted in response to the apparent approval. “There is NO mutual respect and NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaeperick7 PERIOD. #stoplying,” Diab blasted.
Kaepernick retweeted Diab’s tweet from Jan. 16th.
Super Bowl LIII takes place on Sunday, February 3rd at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, with CBS televising the event nationally.