The house has been brought down by Andra Day‘s rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Prior to kick-off Sunday at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer, 39, hit the field and belted out the song dubbed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the “Black national anthem.”
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Day was joined by actor and choreographer Shaheem Sanchez who signed the song in American Sign Language during the performance.
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Dressed in beige pantsuit with a matching overcoat, Day beautifully recited the lyrics, “Lift every voice and sing/’Til earth and heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of Liberty,” as she was backed by an adept chorus of singers.
In January, Day spoke with ET’s Kevin Frazier about how she was prepping for the performance and how she felt about receiving the offer, one that only three other artists have been given thus far.
“I was so nervous but very, very excited. Grateful. And also, just an honor. It’s an honor to be singing the Black national anthem,” Day said at the time, adding that she was first informed about the gig in the fall, giving her plenty of time to prepare.
“I think I got the call in November when they let me know that like, yes, we’re greenlit to do it and I remember having a very peculiar feeling,” the “Rise Up” crooner said. “I was like, ‘Why do I feel like it was, like, visceral?’ I was like, ‘Why am I nervous?’ Terrified. I had butterflies in my stomach in November for something that’s gonna happen in February.”
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The song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was originally written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson as a prayer hymn and was adopted in 1919 by the NAACP.
The origin of the song’s connection to the Super Bowl goes back to 2021 when Alicia Keys sang the first rendition during the big game. The following year, Mary Mary was invited to perform and most recently, Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph sang the song during the broadcast.
Ralph made history as the first Black person to perform the song on the field before the Super Bowl.
“As a child attending Jefferson Elementary School in the Trenton, NJ, public school system, the song was part of our morning ritual. We sang along with it right before placing our hands over our hearts and pledging allegiance to the American flag,” said Troy Vincent, former NFL player and the NFL’s Executive Vice President of football operations, discussing the importance of the song’s integration into the Super Bowl.
“It has encouraged generations of Black people that God will lead us to the promises of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It’s as pertinent in today’s environment as it was when it was written,” Vincent shared in 2020.
Super Bowl LVIII – which is airing on CBS and streaming live on Paramount+ – is at, and has the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers. Keep checking ETonline for more from the big game, including photos, exclusive interviews and more.