Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan are set to sing our Nation’s Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” during Sunday (Feb. 7) nights Super Bowl LV.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Church explained that although he has “avoided” singing the National Anthem “forever,” as it is “an incredibly hard song to sing.” He feels that now is an important time for him to sing it for a patriotic moment.
“With what’s going on in America, it feels like an important time for a patriotic moment,” Church told the outlet. “An important time for unity. The fact that I’m a Caucasian country singer and she’s an African American R&B singer — I think the country needs that.”
Church explained that he truly appreciates the unity that this duet symbolizes as the country remains divided at political lines.
“But that’s kind of what spoke to me,” Church explained. “We’re unifying. And it’s a time in our country when we have to do that.”
The country singer shared that because of the ongoing global health crisis, we have lost many of the things that truly unite us.
“We’ve lost the things that used to unite us: concerts, sporting events, trips to Vegas with the boys. I can tell you from the concert standpoint, the longer we go without people being able to put their arms around the person next to them and have a moment of communion, it gets more tenuous and more dangerous. And I think the reality of that is what happened at the Capitol.”
“I feel like in this country, we’ve given up the common ground,” Church continued. “When I’m at a concert, I’m not thinking about how many people there are Republicans or Democrats. But that’s how you win elections — you have to create the division, to rile up a base.
The superstars have never performed together before and their performance will make history as the second national anthem duet in Super Bowl history, following Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville in 2006.
Church and Sullivan will perform the National Anthem at approximately 6:28 p.m. EST.
In addition to the National Anthem, at 6 p.m. H.E.R. will perform “America the Beautiful,” and Amanda Gorman is set to recite the NFL’s first ever poem performed at the Super Bowl.
Additionally, The Weeknd will provide Halftime show entertainment.
Following Super Bowl LV, Church and Sullivan will join Luke Bryan, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and more for Verizon’s Big Concert in support of Small Businesses.
Super Bowl LV airs on CBS at 6:30 p.m. EST between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.