Carrying on the great tradition of Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Kathy Lee Gifford, and the Grambling University Band, Renee Fleming will take on the task of providing bookies with another prop bet by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2.
Fleming is an acclaimed opera singer who has picked up four Grammys over the course of her career and is probably best known outside of the classical world as one of the voices on the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and for her odd (but not unpleasant) collection of indie rock covers from a few years ago. (She also sang the theme song to the 2012 animated disaster Rise of the Guardians.) She’s undoubtedly one of the most competently trained singers to take on the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in some time—it’s a challenging song that has derailed all kinds of performers, especially on big stages.
The addition of Fleming completes the circle of music performers at this year’s Super Bowl, with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers handling the halftime show. U2 will also reportedly have some sort of presence during the course of the broadcast, most likely in the form of an ad in support of their new single “Invisible” and/or their upcoming new album. And Prince will be appearing on a special episode of New Girl that is airing right after the game.
The job of Super Bowl National Anthem singer is tough, because usually the best you can hope for is to be pleasantly forgettable. Nobody wants to mess it up, but at the same time, it would be difficult to top Whitney Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl XXV in 1991, which is one of the greatest music moments in all of television history.
Who is your favorite Super Bowl National Anthem singer?