The NFL announced on Thursday that Gladys Knight booked a short but major gig: performing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl.

Knight, 74, a seven-time Grammy winner known as the “Empress of Soul,” will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LIII, which will be held Feb. 3 in Atlanta, home of the NFL’s Falcons. CBS is reportedly set to air Knight’s performance of the anthem.

Knight — whose most famous hits include “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,” “The Way We Were” and “Neither One Of Us” — was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. She also had two No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100: “That’s What Friends Are For” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” Knight said in a statement. “The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform ‘Inspire Change,’ and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year.”


The announcement regarding Knight follows Sunday’s news that Maroon 5 will perform for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show alongside rapper Travis Scott and former Outkast member Big Boi. 

Pink sang the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl.

The teams playing in this year’s NFL national championship game will be decided on Sunday. The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will play each other in the AFC Championship Game, while the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams will face off in the NFC Conference matchup.

Former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy tweeted how fitting it was for Knight to sing the anthem given her background.

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