Watch Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan’s Show-Stopping National Anthem Performance at Super Bowl LV

Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan joined forces to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner”…

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Lauren Jo Black

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February 7, 2021

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Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan joined forces to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL on Sunday (Feb. 7). 

Church and Sullivan’s National Anthem duet is only the second National Anthem duet in Super Bowl history, following Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville in 2006. 

A few days prior to their buzzed-about performance, Church opened up about the opportunity to perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl and why his performance with Sullivan was so significant. 

“With what’s going on in America, it feels like an important time for a patriotic moment,” Church told the Los Angeles Times. “An important time for unity. The fact that I’m a Caucasian country singer and she’s an African American R&B singer — I think the country needs that.”

The superstar admitted that he had  “avoided it forever” because “The Star-Spangled Banner” is “an incredibly hard song to sing.” But after the Capitol riots in January, he felt inclined to show unity in a time of such division. 

“But that’s kind of what spoke to me,” he said. “We’re unifying. And it’s a time in our country when we have to do that.”

Church is the first country artist to participate in the Super Bowl since fellow country superstar Luke Bryan sang the National Anthem in 2017. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.