Chris Stapleton’s Soulful, Bluesy National Anthem Performance at 2023 Super Bowl

At 2023 Super Bowl, Chris Stapleton’s Soulful, Bluesy National Anthem Performance Draws Tears From Players on Field. Performing the other pregame standards, Babyface and Sheryl Lee Ralph stood opposite each other on the 50-yard line of performance intensity.

Recording artist Chris Stapleton performs the national anthem prior to the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.

Chris Stapleton’s performance of the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVII marked the continuation of a tradition of country artists singing the pre-game song, following in the footsteps of Mickey Guyton and Eric Church.

However, Stapleton showcased his versatility as a musician by delivering a bluesy take on the classic tune.

Despite the common practice of singing the National Anthem with sentimentality, Stapleton’s gritty rendition elicited emotional reactions from players and coaches, with some of them appearing to be holding back tears.

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Chris Stapleton Soulful Bluesy National Anthem Performance at 2023 Super Bowl

Chris Stapleton’s Soulful, Bluesy National Anthem Performance at 2023 Super Bowl

Eagle’s lineman Jason Kelce and coach Nick Sirianni were among those who were visibly affected by Stapleton’s powerful performance.

Stapleton’s solo performance of the National Anthem was a symbol of American individualism, contrasting with the team-focused atmosphere of the Super Bowl and the upcoming performance by Rihanna.

Despite the many grand and powerful renditions of the anthem in the past, Stapleton’s stripped-down and personal delivery of the song with just a Fender Telecaster, a small amplifier, and some monitors was a refreshing change. His rugged and introspective performance stood out from the typical dramatic interpretations of the National Anthem.

Chris Stapleton keeps national anthem simple at Super Bowl, Watch on Twitter


The two musical performances before the Super Bowl kickoff presented a stark contrast. Babyface took a more understated approach compared to Stapleton, playing an acoustic guitar with a flag design and singing “America the Beautiful” in a soft and intimate manner, accompanied by a pre-recorded backing track. This rendition was the least vocally powerful version of the song in recent memory, opting for a mellow and emotional expression of patriotism.


Sheryl Lee Ralph delivered a powerful performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black National Anthem.

As often referred to as the Black National Anthem, Sheryl Lee Ralph delivered a powerful performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”. She put on a highly energetic and passionate show, marching in place as she sang with full force.

While Stapleton and Babyface dressed in black for the occasion, Ralph was the most elegantly and brightly dressed performer in recent Super Bowl history, with a red train behind her on a white platform. This was not meant to show any bias towards the Chiefs, but rather to add to her visually stunning performance.

Sheryl Lee Ralph is Performing at 2023 Super Bowl (NFL), Watch on Twitter

The performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the Super Bowl marked the third consecutive year that the song has been included in the pre-game lineup, making it a well-established tradition. Although the song has been part of NFL games for years, its recent prominence as a pre-game performance has drawn attention from some right-wing voices.

This may be due to the game being broadcast on Fox, and the network’s website highlighting the performance of the Black National Anthem as a controversial issue. Despite this, the tradition of including “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in the Super Bowl musical lineup has become a widely accepted and appreciated part of the event.

National Anthem Performance Super Bowl 2023

The pre-game musical performances at the Super Bowl received widespread praise, despite criticism from conservative voices like Kevin Sorbo and Lauren Boebert. Sorbo called the performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” “racist” towards white people, while Boebert tweeted about the NFL dividing the country by playing multiple anthems.

However, these voices were met with opposition as the majority of non-troll America appreciated the musical performances, particularly Chris Stapleton’s rendition of the National Anthem. Stapleton is known for being a unifier, bringing people together even as he pays homage to the Black music art form that inspired the National Anthem.

The recent trend of guitar-led performances by artists like Eric Church, H.E.R., Babyface, and Stapleton has defied expectations and solidified the guitar’s place in the pop landscape, especially at the Super Bowl.

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