Drawing on her long history in performing the national anthem, legendary country music star Reba McEntire delivered a solid version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the kickoff of the 2024 Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
McEntire played the song straight, avoiding the type of vocal gymnastics that some singers decide to bring to the piece.
The defining characteristic of the song was radiant joy, which just seemed to pour forth from the country vocalist — responsible for such classics as “Whoever’s in New England,” “How Blue,” “Somebody Should Leave” “What Am I Gonna Do About You,” “One Promise Too Late” and, best of all, “Fancy” — during every single note in the song.
Shots of her singing were complemented by scenes of pyrotechnics being shot off from the top of Allegiant Stadium, an enormous video of the American flag filling the entire circular exterior of the much-buzzed-about Sphere venue, soldiers stationed in South Korea tuned into the broadcast and, eventually, a fly-over above the venue.
The final takeaway was McEntire’s enormous smile, which lit up TVs across the globe as she brought the song to a close.
In all, it was really good version of the anthem, a number that plays a huge part in the Reba McEntire story. As legend has it, the singer McEntire actually got discovered while singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City back in the ’70s. That directly led to McEntire scoring her first recording contract.
Prior to McEntire’s performance, Post Malone sang “America the Beautiful” and Andra Day delivered “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (often referred to as the Black National Anthem). And both succeeded in their roles — although in strikingly different ways.
Hip-hop/pop artist Malone’s version was an understated, acoustic guitar-driven ballad performance, while Day’s was a poignant high-flying number that found the R&B star’s own amazing vocals supported by a number of talented backup singers.
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