All eyes will be on country queen Reba McEntire during Super Bowl Sunday as the music legend takes the stage to perform the National Anthem ahead of the big game. And it turns out that even the most gifted vocalists need a little warming up when it comes to performing one of the most notoriously difficult songs in front of millions of people. So how is the Country Music Hall of Famer preparing for the big day? McEntire's practice runs are not unlike the average person who enjoys a session of shower or car karaoke — though her performance likely sounds much better.
"I've been singing the National Anthem in the shower [and] when we get in the car," McEntire tells Apple Music, adding that her boyfriend Rex Linn, who was instrumental in her accepting the gig in the first place, has been an excellent coach. "He'll say, 'OK, sing it one more time.' I said, 'I think I know the words real good right now, so I'm alright.'"
Of course McEntire is no stranger to performing the "Star-Spangled Banner." The "Fancy" singer performed the anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1974 and has continued performing the song frequently throughout her career.
McEntire added that it's helpful knowing that everyone will be singing along.
"If I know they're singing along, and they're remembering and having fun too, that's easier on me, but just to be prepared when you walk out there," she said.
The "I'm a Survivor" singer also shared how honored she is to be performing "a very special song for all Americans."
"It's not about me — I'm the representation of this song, and I'm just honored to get to sing it," McEntire said. "It's a good one. I've been doing it for 50 years, and I'm really proud to get to sing it."
McEntire is the latest in a long line of country artists to perform at the Super Bowl. Last year, Chris Stapleton performed the National Anthem. Previously, Mickey Guyton (2022), Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan (2021), Luke Bryan (2017), Carrie Underwood (2010), The Chicks (2003), Faith Hill (2000) and Garth Brooks (1993) have performed the song on Super Bowl Sunday.
Other pre-game performers include Post Malone, who'll perform "America the Beautiful," and Andra Day, who'll perform "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
Pop and R&B icon Usher will headline the halftime show.
Super Bowl LVIII officially starts at 6:30 ET/ 5:30 CT, but if you want to catch all the pre-game performances, you'll want to tune in at 5 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. CT.
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