Tears were shed both inside and outside the stadium in Glendale, Arizona, while Chris Stapleton began the 2023 Super Bowl with the national anthem.
Stapleton performed while dressed entirely in black “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs’ matchup on Sunday, February 12.
Nick Sirianni, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and players like Jason Kelce were spotted crying when Stapleton sang in his distinctive raspy voice. People noticed how many people appeared to be crying during the pregame performance online.
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“Chris Stapleton just made an NFL head coach cry on national television with his sweet rendition of the National Anthem,” one Twitter user wrote. “Chris Stapleton is making the entire stadium cry,” former “Bachelor” cast member Joe Amabile tweeted. The singer-Jan. Songwriter’s 24 performance was first teased in a tweet that has received more than 560,000 views.
The other performers who kicked off the game were Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who sang “America the Beautiful,” and “Abbott Elementary” actor Sheryl Lee Ralph, who sang the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
On Twitter, Ralph pointed out that she was singing “Lift Every Voice” on the anniversary of its first public performance 123 years ago, on Feb. 12, 1900.