In what looked more like a concert than a football game, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson kicked off the star-studded Super Bowl XLVII on February 3 at the New Orleans Superdome with powerful performances. Singing on separate platforms set-up on the actual NFL game field, the two gave emotional renditions of patriotic songs in front of a packed arena of spectators.
Hudson went off first, joining the Sandy Hook Elementary School Chorus as they began an emotionally-charged rendition of "America the Beautiful". After a sweet start by the kids, Hudson, wearing a black and white ensemble, joined midway into the song and belted a powerful round up of the song. The student chorus was among those who survived the devastating shooting incident that shocked their Newtown, Connecticut community last December.
The touching collaboration was quickly followed by Keys' rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Wearing a red gown as she sat behind her trademark grand piano, Keys gave a soulful performance of the national anthem to the cheers of an emotionally-moved crowd of football fans, including players, as shown by a visibly-shaken Ray Lewis, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, as his team went head-on with the San Francisco 49ers. Keys' version was flawless, both lyrically and melodically, putting only a minor spin with an additional "living in the land of the free and the home of the brave" at the very end.
Later during the half time show, Beyonce Knowles delivered a spectacular performance and surprised the crowds by appearing onstage with her Destiny's Child partners, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (II).
Jennifer Hudson sings "America the Beautiful" with Sandy Hook student chorus:
Alicia Keys sings national anthem at Super Bowl: