Soul legend Gladys Knight will sing the American national anthem at the 2019 Super Bowl.
The 74-year-old star and National Football League (NFL) bosses announced the news on Thursday (17Jan19) via a video posted to social media.
“I hope that this anthem will touch people in a different way,” she said in the clip. “We’ve been singing it forever, but this time, I would hope deeply that it would lift them to a higher place.”
The Midnight Train to Georgia singer will join Maroon 5 and Travis Scott in performing at the event, as all three will play the half-time show at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on 3 February.
NFL chiefs are rumoured to have struggled to sign up performers for this year’s event, as the likes of Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turned down lucrative offers in solidarity with ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
He is taking legal action against team owners, accusing them of blackballing him due to his kneeling during the anthem in protest of police brutality and racism.
Four teams are still in with a chance of making it to Super Bowl LIII, with the New England Patriots taking on the Kansas City Chiefs for a place in the showpiece game, and the Los Angeles Rams facing the New Orleans Saints.
Past performers of the anthem have included Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce.