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Gladys Knight crushes the national anthem to open Super Bowl 53

Plus, Chloe X Halle dominate “America the Beautiful”

CBS

Super Bowl 53 got off to a great start as Gladys Knight knocked the national anthem out of the park during pregame festivities. The “Empress of Soul”, clad in a gorgeous white dress adorned with jewels around the neck, captured the audience with the first note out of her mouth. While the performance was subdued, it lost none of the power as Knight’s incredible vocals held the crowd captive.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the open roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Knight held the last note, putting the cherry on top of the whole thing.

She finished in a total of 2:01, 11 seconds over the prop bet of 1:50, although there’s now some debate over her hitting the over.

Twitter raved about Knight’s performance, and deservedly so.

Grammy-nominated sisters Chloe X Halle performed “America the Beautiful” before Knight’s rendition of the anthem, and they set the stage perfectly.

Up next, the Patriots and Rams will try to follow these impressive opening acts.