Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta on Feb. 3, the NFL announced Thursday.
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"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," the seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer said in a statement. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year."
Knight, who began her career in the 1950s with her brothers and cousins as Gladys Knight & the Pips, has released 11 studio albums. Also known as the “Empress of Soul,” she has recorded two No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, 11 No. 1 R&B singles and six No. 1 R&B albums.
When the news of her NFL performance broke, many took to Twitter to post their reactions. Many were excited Knight was selected.
So fitting for Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta. An Atlanta native who grew up in an era of discrimination but kept her faith in God to overcome it, will now sing on football’s biggest stage. The “Midnight Train” has come full circle! https://t.co/SlsXpwUJBg— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) January 17, 2019
Gladys Knight? I love her!— Sarah Adrianne (@seiwriter) January 17, 2019
Perfect choice!!! Can't wait to hear her. Much love for Gladys Knight music🎤🎷🎺🎹❤— Carolyn Monday (@lynmonday) January 17, 2019
Others said they were happy about the announcement, but they hope she uses her platform to stand against racial and social discrimination in support of ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
Well I'm glad they found a true Atlanta person. I do love me some Gladys Knight. And she's still got pipes. But part of me hopes she wears a @Kaepernick7 shirt. I'm still feeling some kind of way about how the NFL owners have blackballed him.— karyncollins (@karyncollins) January 17, 2019
I have been worried about her health since the statement that was made at Aretha Franklin's funeral so I am glad to read that she will be performing. I also l - o - v - e Gladys Knight. If she wore a @Kaepernick7 shirt, I would not be able to contain my joy.— Deesa Roberts🙏🏽🖖🏽🤟🏽🦄👊🏽 (@DeesaRoberts) January 17, 2019
On the other hand, people questioned her choice to participate in the Super Bowl at all.
Gladys Knight singing the anthem?— Chimaek (@awwhalenawl) January 17, 2019
So now Gladys Knight is singing the National Anthem for the Super Bowl? pic.twitter.com/uTGfLXFMvx— Mawndale (@MissyMaudy) January 17, 2019
WHO told Gladys Knight it was OK to sing the national anthem down to the Super Bowl?— Wolf Dot Lass (@letsgomike_) January 17, 2019
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