Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson Honor America With Super Bowl Performances
Before the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers charged the field to begin Super Bowl XLVII, two of R&B's leading ladies, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson, made America proud with a pair of emotional performances.
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Hudson led things off with "America the Beautiful" and the rendition was made more powerful with the inclusion of members of the Sandy Hook Elementary chorus. The 26 kids of Newtown, Conn. sung sweetly alongside the powerhouse singer, who wore a tight black-and-white ensemble. The students survived a devastating school shooting on Dec. 14 in which 20 of their fellow students and six adults were killed. Watch:
Soon after, the cameras zoomed to Keys seated behind a gleaming silver piano in the middle of the field. Donning a tight fitting, dark red colored dress, she belted a soulful performance of "The Star Spangled Banner." The audience rose to their feet with approval, while the players -- including a visibly shaken Ray Lewis -- sung along with her. Watch:
The last musician to tickle the keys during a Super Bowl national anthem show was Billy Joel in 2007, according to Mashable.
Keys is a part of a long list of notable artists who have sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Bowl, including Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and last year's performer Kelly Clarkson. Hudson performed the anthem for Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, while Beyonce - the game's Halftime talent - took on the anthem at 2004's Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Both A.Keys and J. Hud performed at inaugural balls in January. Keys sung a modified rendition of "Girl on Fire" for President Obama titled "Obama's On Fire" ("He's living in a world and it's on fire. Filled with catastrophe, but he knows he can find a way") while Hudson sang Al Green's soulful classic, "Let's Stay Together," for Barack and Michelle Obama's first dance.