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Music

Rihanna, Trio of Anthems Highlight Super Bowl’s Star Power

February 12, 2023

A halftime show that Rihanna promises will be “jam-packed” will sit at the center of the celebrity supplements to Super Bowl 57.

But the 13-minute mini-extravaganza, her first live event in seven years, is only one part of the entertainment sideshow surrounding Sunday’s big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Chris Stapleton, who has dominated country music awards in recent years, will take on the challenge, and scrutiny, of singing the national anthem.

“The national anthem’s not an easy song for singers. It’s one that can go horribly wrong as we’ve seen many times in the past,” Stapleton said at a media event during the leadup to the game. “But if you’re gonna do it, this is the place to do it. I’m gonna go out there and play. And play it like I play it.”

The length of the anthem has become one of the countless game elements up for betting. Oddsmakers have put the over-under on Stapleton’s “Star Spangled Banner” at 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

Chris Stapleton, left, and Stevie Wonder perform “Higher Ground” during a tribute to Motown at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

This being the Super Bowl, one anthem is not enough. R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful.”

And “Abbot Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph will sing what’s been dubbed the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Famous faces are bound to be seen throughout the stands. Some will care more about the outcome than others. The Eagles count Kevin Hart and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Rob McElhenney among their biggest fans. Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis pull hard for the Chiefs.

Many stars have made the scene at Super Bowl week parties.

And many others, including John Travolta and Alicia Silverstone, will show up in the big game’s big commercials.

 

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