In recent years, a pop star has usually been chosen to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. In 2014, however, the NFL has gone elsewhere to fulfill that role.
Soprano Renee Fleming will perform the "Star-Spangled Banner" at MetLife Stadium before the opening kickoff. It’s the first time in the 47-year history of the game that an opera singer has been chosen to do the honor.
Fleming may not be well known my much of the audience that will watch the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks, though she’s been a successful singer in four different decades. Her work has been so renowned that President Obama awarded her the 2012 National Medal of Arts.
The 54-year-old is best known for her work at the top opera houses around the world. Her music has garnered her four Grammy victories. Most recently, she won the award for Best Classical Vocal Solo at the 2013 Grammy Awards for “Poemes,” which is a collection of 20th-Century French music. She’s received 14 nominations over the course of her career.
The last four artists to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl have had the No.1 song in the United States at some point in their careers. While Fleming hasn’t achieved that kind of success, the soprano has been featured on a number mainstream platforms. She has made appearances on “The View” and “Sesame Street,” and even read a list of top 10 opera lyrics on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Fleming was chosen to perform at the first Super Bowl in the New York/New Jersey area in part because of her connection to the Big Apple. She currently lives in New York, and sang the national anthem in 2003 when the Yankees hosted the Marlins in the World Series.