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3 reasons to be excited about Gladys Knight singing the Super Bowl national anthem

The Atlanta legend is ready to belt out the anthem on Sunday. You should be, too.

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LIII Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Everyone is getting more and more excited for Sunday’s Super Bowl where the Patriots and Rams will square off as Los Angeles attempts to keep New England’s Evil Empire at bay for another year. That’s all fine and good, but I’m most excited for the pregame festivities. The “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight is going to belt out the national anthem before the game, and here are three reasons to get as excited as I am:

She’s an Atlanta legend

Don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Super Bowl is in Atlanta this year. Gladys Knight? She was born and raised in Atlanta. Knight becomes the seventh artist to perform the anthem in or near their hometown, joining Al Hirt (New Orleans, LA, SBIV), Aaron Neville (New Orleans, LA, SBNXXIV), Diana Ross (Pontiac, MI, SBXVI), Beyoncé (Houston, TX, SBXXXVIII), Aretha Franklin (Detroit, MI, SBXL), and Jordin Sparks (Phoenix, AZ, SBXLII).

“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” Knight said after being selected.

That voice

You don’t win seven Grammys without having amazing pipes. As part of Gladys and the Pips, Knight recorded one of her two No. 1 hits in “Midnight Train to Georgia”. She performed the hit at the Kennedy Center as part of a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King in January of 2017. I mean, come on.


The prop bets!

The time for the national anthem is currently set at 1:50, which is comfortably between Billy Joel’s 1:30 rendition and Alicia Keys’s 2:35 performance. I’m leaning towards longer than 1:50 thanks to this quote:

“I hope that this anthem will touch people in a different way. We’ve been singing it forever, but this time I would hope that they would feel it so deeply that it would lift them to a higher place. That’s what I feel when I sing this song. This is who we are. This is how we are. And this is what we do.”

My other favorite prop bets are:

  • Will Gladys Knight be wearing a dress, skirt, or gown for her performance?
  • Will any scoring drive take less time than it takes Gladys Knight to sing the national anthem?
  • Will a member of the Pips make an appearance? Odds say it’s not going to happen (Yes +500, No -1000) after the not so great breakup of the group.