Oh boy. Fans looking for a Luke Bryan Super Bowl performance just got their wish. FOX says the singer is slated to sing the national anthem. Amazingly, Bryan marks the first male performer of the anthem in a decade. The last guy to do it? Billy Joel at Super Bowl XLI.
Luke Bryan has sung the classic American tune a few times before, so it’s not like he’s waging into foreign waters.
But the national anthem is a monster of a tune. For how much we hear it, we forget just how challenging it actually is for singers. The range spans both heady high notes and notable lows. Plus, because we all hear it so much, we all know how it should sound.
Now, that’s not to say Bryan can’t handle it. His US Bank Stadium performance in 2016, well, decent. He certainly dragged it out longer than he needed to.
But that’s part of the fun with the anthem, at least for Las Vegas oddsmakers. One of the most popular “prop bets” every year is the length of a national anthem, and if a singer will go under or over the set time.
For a lot of recent performances, that number usually went pretty high. Singers like Lady Gaga (who performs the halftime show this year) and Alicia Keys nailed their rangy, long versions of the song. Don’t bet on Bryan extending the tune as much as they did.
But you never know — singing in front of the largest audience of your life can do strange things to people. Obviously, Bryan’s place in country music comes more from his image and reign as the king of bro country. (Or at least a powerful oligarch with the likes of Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line).
He’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, known as a good singer. But alas, he’s representing all of the country genre in a major, major sporting event. So let’s all pull for him to, you know, pull it off.
Sure, a Chris Stapleton or Jennifer Nettles or Little Big Town probably would’ve knocked America’s socks off. But, well, we got Luke Bryan, so let’s hope for the best.