Alicia Keys performed a lounge-y, piano-tinged — and live — version of the national anthem ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The Grammy-winning singer played the piano as she sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in a long red dress with her eyes shut. Her publicist said the performance was live, days after halftime performer Beyonce admitted singing along to a prerecorded track at the presidential inauguration.
Keys’ version was soft and featured additional lyrics: She added “living in the home” before belting “home of the brave” as she finished the song.
Before Keys hit the field, Jennifer Hudson performed “America the Beautiful” with the 26-member Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus, a performance that had some players on the sideline on the verge of tears.
The students wore green ribbons on their shirts in honour of the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed in a December 14 shooting rampage at the school in Newton, Connecticut.
The students began the song softly before Hudson, whose mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew were shot to death five years ago, jumped in with her gospel-flavoured vocals. She stood still in black and white as the students moved to the left and right, singing background.
Keys and Hudson warmed up the field for Beyonce, who is set to perform at the half-time show.