Photo: Rob Carr / Staff via Getty Images
  /  02.12.2023

Sheryl Lee Ralph brought down the house as she blessed the Super Bowl pregame show with her performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” today (Feb. 12). The veteran actress looked as regal as ever as she donned a red jumpsuit with gold accents and matching gloves. She was accompanied by background singers who all wore white.

Before the festivities began, the Dreamgirl tweeted, “[One hundred and twenty-three] years ago today, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ was performed publicly for the [first] time. Today I will sing it for the [first] time as part of the Super Bowl pre-game show in the stadium!” In 2020, the NFL incorporated the culturally revered anthem into the pregame ceremonies during Week 1 of the regular season.

The record begins with, “Lift every voice and sing/ ’Til earth and heaven ring/ Ring with the harmonies of Liberty/ Let our rejoicing rise/ High as the listening skies.” The song was originally a hymn written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in the 1800s. By 1905, it was set to music by James’ brother, John Rosamond Johnson, and was first performed by 500 school children in segregated Jacksonville, Florida, in celebration of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” gained prominence during the civil rights movement and has since been widely recognized as “The Black National Anthem.”

The “Abbott Elementary” breakout star was one of three acts enlisted to kick off the big game’s opening ceremony. Country singer Chris Stapleton performed the national anthem, and Grammy Award-winning legend Babyface sang “America the Beautiful.”

Ralph spoke with Apple Music about the moment she got the call about performing at the most watched sporting event of the year. As she laughed, Ralph recalled, “First of all, they said, ‘Just got a call [that] they would like you to sing at the Super Bowl.’ I said, ‘What! Yes!’ Just like that… thrilled. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be singing at the Super Bowl. What is it, 100 million people in the audience? Yeah, just a little small thing, you know.”

View related posts below.



View More
Choose your Vibe (Optional)
Choose your Vibe (Optional)



View More


Amber Riley on her "Glee" fame, growing up in Compton & dealing with anxiety | 'The Jason Lee Show'

Amber Riley appears on this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show” for a juicy ...
  /  03.01.2023

Funny Marco on his viral pranks, Kansas City & interviewing Boosie Badazz | 'Big Facts'

In the season three premiere, Funny Marco sits down with the “Big Facts” crew to ...
  /  02.02.2023

Blueface & Chrisean Rock talk arrests, threesomes & marriage | 'The Jason Lee Show'

Blueface and Chrisean Rock appear for episode two of “The Jason Lee Show.” The controversial ...
  /  01.25.2023

Lowering the cost of higher education | 'Maconomics'

“Maconomics” host Ross Mac checks in with a Jackson State University Cricket Wireless campus ambassador ...
  /  03.20.2023
View More