Nearly all the attention goes to the Super Bowl halftime show, but the big game got off to a great musical start with H.E.R. and Jazmine Sullivan.
H.E.R., whose real name is Gabi Wilson, kicked things off with a soulful rendition of “America the Beautiful” on Sunday (Feb. 7). The Grammy-Award winning singer followed her vocal rendition with a power guitar performance.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she admitted to being nervous about the biggest stage on television.
“Honestly, I am so excited to just be performing at the Super Bowl. It's a huge stage and it doesn't get any bigger, you know? But I think the goal, for me, is to make [the song] my own,” she said. “I'm a huge fan of the different versions of 'America the Beautiful,' but I really want to bring some different elements in there... make it H.E.R."
After H.E.R.’s performance, Sullivan teamed up with County music star Eric Church to perform the national anthem. Their different genres and unique style blended for a moving rendition.
Sullivan’s performance on the big stage follows the Jan. 8 release of her fourth album, titled “Heux Tales,” about the experience of millennial Black women.
The rapper Warren "Wawa" Snipe, who is deaf, was another big highlight in the pregame show. He performed the national and “America the Beautify” in American Sign Language.