During the national anthem, the Navy performed a special flyover in honor of the big milestone.

The Super Bowl is officially underway after Chris Stapleton took the stage sing the national anthem.

The country music star delivered a smooth, soulful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” as dozens of people in red and blue unfurled a huge American flag they held in their hands. Some listeners were visibly crying, in particular the Eagles’ coach Nick Siriani and starting center Jason Kelce.

Oscar-winning deaf actor Troy Kotsur, known for his expressive, emotional signing, performed the national anthem in American Sign Language.

During the performance, the US Navy held a flyover over the stadium to commemorate 50 years of female aviators in the service. According to the NFL, it was the first pregame flyover in Super Bowl history by an all-female Air Force One team.

Stapleton is an eight-time Grammy winner with two dozen Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards.

The “Tennessee Whiskey” singer grew up in Kentucky, but got his start as a singer in Nashville. Stapleton has been a solo artist since 2013, but previously lent his voice to bluegrass and southern rock bands The SteelDrivers and The Jompson Brothers.

Who else will play in the Super Bowl in 2023?

R&B legend Babyface performed “America the beautiful,” and actor-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph “Lift up every voice and sing.” Colin Denny signed “America the Beautiful” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Justin Miles.

Rihanna, of course, is set for the highly-anticipated halftime show – her first live event in seven years. The pop star promised earlier in the week that she was working hard on a “packed show”.

β€œAt the end of the day, if it flops or flies, my name has to be behind it. And that’s why I’m really involved in everything I do,” she said at a media preview on Thursday.


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