Country Icon McEntire living out “lifelong dream” as she prepares for National Anthem Performance
Country music legend Reba McEntire has been announced as the performer of the National Anthem at the upcoming Super Bowl LVIII pregame show on February 12th, 2024. McEntire will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to kickoff at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
In a statement, McEntire said “I’ve been a huge football fan for decades and performing at the Super Bowl pregame show has been a lifelong dream! I’m so thrilled to sing the national anthem at this iconic sporting event and share the stage with some amazing performers like Post Malone and Andra Day. This is going to be one of the biggest honors of my entire career.”
This continues McEntire’s connection to football, as she previously performed the National Anthem before the 2004 Super Bowl. Twenty years later, she returns to take one of music’s most prestigious gigs once again. Known for country hits like “Fancy,” “Consider Me Gone,” and “Does He Love You,” she is sure to deliver a memorable rendition.
Diverse Array of Performers Reflects NFL’s Expanding Audiences
In addition to McEntire, the NFL announced that Grammy-winning rapper Post Malone will sing “America the Beautiful” and acclaimed R&B artist Andra Day will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
This diverse musical lineup seems carefully crafted to appeal to the NFL’s evolving viewership. While the league was once associated most closely with rock acts, the performers at recent Super Bowls have become increasingly varied. Last year’s pregame show featured country stars Mickey Guyton singing the anthem and Carrie Underwood performing “The Champion.” Hip hop and R&B artists like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar headlined the 2022 halftime extravaganza.
|Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Eminem
|Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan
The inclusion of McEntire, Malone, and Day seems to acknowledge that the NFL’s viewers are more diverse than ever in terms of musical tastes. Football fandom encompasses multiple generations, genders, and backgrounds, so showcasing various genres allows the league to showcase its inclusivity.
Las Vegas Providing Glitzy Backdrop for Super Bowl Festivities
In just its second year hosting the NFL’s championship game, Las Vegas is sparing no expense to impress fans descending on Sin City. The city put in a $2 billion bid to host and is expected to bring in over $500 million in Super Bowl-related economic impact. Vegas has branded this as much more than just a football game, promoting it as a full weekend experience complete with concerts, parties, pop-up activations by brands like Pizza Hut and Bud Light, and of course gambling.
Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, is sure to be rocking as one of the NFL’s newest and most expensive venues. The 65,000-seat, $2 billion stadium features a 120-yard video screen, retractable natural grass field, and a see-through roof. Located just off the Vegas strip, it provides stunning views of the city skyline.
Given the glamour and excess that are quintessentially Vegas, one can expect surprise celebrity appearances and unique performances as the Super Bowl pulls out all the stops. Last year at SoFi Stadium saw surprise sets by Eminem, 50 Cent, and even pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks playing electric guitar as the stadium’s massive, hanging oval video board descended from the rafters. If any city can top that pageantry, it’s Las Vegas.
Super Bowl Buildup Continues with More Entertainment Announcements
While the announcement of McEntire, Malone, and Day performing at the pregame show generated excitement, more performer revelations are likely still to come. Typically in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, additional concert and party announcements help build buzz.
Last year’s halftime show performers were announced fairly late, so fans could reasonably expect a megastar musician still waiting in the wings for this year’s show. Leading candidates include long-rumored Taylor Swift, Drake, and Harry Styles. A country artist would align with the pregame show theme and Las Vegas locale.
Beyond the game itself, brands often leverage Super Bowl weekend by attaching themselves to adjacent concerts and events. Performers like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and Maroon 5 have given remote mini-concerts sponsored by corporations like Pepsi, Verizon, and Bud Light. So the parties are sure to be star-studded as much as the game.
Whether or not there are still surprise megastars waiting to be unveiled, the entertainment already announced has fans counting down 12 days until Super Sunday.
What This Means for Performers’ Careers
For McEntire, Malone, and Day, performing in front of a Super Bowl audience represents an unparalleled opportunity to expand their exposure and kickoff the new year with momentum.
Over 100 million viewers will see these artists on the sport’s biggest stage. The performances will be dissected and debated for weeks. If done well, they can greatly accelerate record and ticket sales, prime artists for awards nominations, and springboard global tours. Just look to recent examples like The Weeknd skyrocketing in popularity after his explosive 2021 halftime show. Lady Gaga saw her profile rise after flawlessly delivering the National Anthem in 2016.
On the other hand, subpar performances can stall momentum or even temporarily damage careers, as lip sync accusations against artists like Katy Perry demonstrate. The intense pressure and scrutiny that comes with this global spotlight is immense.
But for superstars like McEntire, who has sustain incredible popularity over decades, there likely won’t be much career risk, only upside. At age 68 and after over 50 years performing, she has nothing left to prove, so can relax and relish this ultimate honor.
The NFL continues to expand its musical scope in hopes of attracting diverse audiences. Country queen McEntire, multi-platinum rapper Malone, and soulful vocalist Day each bring star power befitting the Super Bowl’s flashy spectacle. Their show is sure to kickoff Super Sunday in style, get fans excited for an entertaining matchup, and potentially propel the next phase of their iconic careers.
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