January 11, 2013 04:59:31 GMT
The 'American Idol' season three winner will lead a host of gospel artists performing in the annual Super Bowl musical event.
Grammy Award-winning R'n'B artist Fantasia Barrino is set to perform in the upcoming Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans on February 1. It will be preceding the NFL kick off game at the New Orleans Superdome on February 3, at which Beyonce Knowles is billed to perform on the halftime break. The 14th annual staging of the Super Bowl musical event will be hosted by Sherri Shepherd, host of ABC's "The View", and award-winning gospel musician Kirk Franklin.
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration will feature gospel music singer and minister Donnie McClurkin, pastor Marvin Winans and Bishop Paul S. Morton of New Orleans. Other local acts will perform all week-long on stages put up along the Mississippi River and the downtown Jackson Square.
The only NFL-sanctioned event in the much-anticipated Super Bowl week, it will include a special performance by this year's "NFL Players' Choice" hip-hop Christian artist Lecrae, as well as the NFL Players Choir, composed of about 40 current and former players of the league. The show will be taped in front of a live audience and will be broadcast on syndicated TV.
Since the event's launch in 1999 during the Super Bowl XXXIII weekend in Miami, the gospel celebration has donated more than 4,000 tickets and a portion of its proceeds to local and national charities. This year's beneficiaries include the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and The Sharper Kids Foundation. The former was founded by New Orleans Saints player Malcolm Jenkins while the latter was founded by Darren Sharper - a former Saints player and brother to former Seattle Seahawks player Jamie Sharper.