Gladys Knight ‘s Iconic Voice has been Named to Sing at Superbowl Llll
Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight will be singing the national anthem at Super Bowl LIII on Feb 3 at in Atlanta, Ga.
The seven-time Grammy winner and actress says she is honored to kick off the biggest sporting event of the year. “I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” she said.
While relishing the honor, Knight also acknowledged the NFL’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In a statement to Variety, she said, “It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
Knight’s statement continued:
“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”
Nicknamed the “Empress of Soul,” Knight has made remarkable history as being ranked #18 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll. Gladys Knight and the Pips were also inducted in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. She is best known for played roles in Hollywood Homicide, The Butler, and Licensed to Kill. Knight is an icon to the new and old generations.
Fans have not seen the singer perform publicly in some time. After the death of her late friend Aretha Franklin in 2018, Knight delivered a heartfelt performance to pay tribute to Franklin at the AMAs last year.
Despite racial tension and controversy experienced throughout her career, Knight remains hopeful that the NFL will do its part to usher in change. “The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural this year,” Knight stated.
She also added that she prays the national anthem “will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward.”