More than two decades ago, Gladys Knight brought the house down with her rousing rendition of Georgia’s official state song at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
Now, as another major sporting event spotlights Atlanta once more, the seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist will perform another official song before an audience of millions; the National Anthem.
The NFL and CBS announced Thursday they tapped the “Empress of Soul” to headline the pregame festivities at Super Bowl LIII. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, in Atlanta, hosts the NFL’s championship match on February 3.
“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” Gladys Knight said.
The Atlanta-native joins an exclusive club of music legends who have sung the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, including Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Cher and Whitney Houston.
Knight says she hopes her performance will touch people in a different way.
“We’ve been singing it forever,” the 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said. “This time, I hope they will feel it so deeply that it will lift them to a higher place.
“That’s what I feel when I sing the song.”