Chris Stapleton Nails National Anthem at 2023 Super Bowl
To the biggest audience that American media assembles all year, country star Chris Stapleton came out to start the 2023 NFL Super Bowl by singing the National Anthem, and as expected, knocked it out of the park.
Before the officially pregame festivities, country fans once again got a treat with a recitation of Johnny Cash’s spoken word essay from his 1974 record Ragged Old Flag. First making its debut in 2020 in an extended commercial, perhaps Cash and “Ragged Old Flag” will become a Super Bowl tradition. The patriotic, but also pointed and accurate portrayal of America makes for a great moment to reclaibrate thoughts and minds about the meaning of freedom.
Shortly thereafter, singer Sheryl Lee Ralph came out to perform a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” that was so clearly lip-synced, it was shocking. Would this portend a lip-synced performance from Chris Stapleton? Luckily, it didn’t. Babyface did a much better job performing “America The Beautiful” ahead of Stapleton, turning in an admiral performance himself.
Then it was Chris Stapleton’s turn as the headliner of the pregame festivities. Playing a black Telecaster with the amp behind him and flanked by monitor speakers, Chris Stapleton without his signature feather-crowned hat and wearing rim-horned sunglasses belted out an effortless and stirring rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” making some grown ass men in shoulder pads on the sidelines openly weep. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni had Niagara Falls rolling down his cheeks.
Not a traditional recitation for sure, but perfect for Chris Stapleton’s naturally soulful voice with vibratos and character accents you could never practice or mimic, Stapleton proved why he was a perfect pick for the opportunity.
Will this particular performance go down in history like a few select other National Anthem performances at the Super Bowl? Time will tell, and be the ultimate judge of that. But Chris Stapleton did the best and most flawless rendition of the National Anthem that Chris Stapleton can do. And that is apparently pretty damn spectacular.
Two guns up!
.@ChrisStapleton brings the house down with his performance of the National Anthem! #SBLVII pic.twitter.com/iiRzjVcByW— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2023
February 12, 2023 @ 4:54 pm
I thought it was amazing! Brought a tear to my eye.
February 12, 2023 @ 4:56 pm
February 12, 2023 @ 5:01 pm
Just as expected Stapleton absolutely nailed it. Apparently it was well received, it’s all over social media already.
February 12, 2023 @ 5:18 pm
February 12, 2023 @ 5:24 pm
I would not say he “nailed it” by any stretch. That rendition was just a couple of rungs up from Joe Cocker.
February 12, 2023 @ 6:18 pm
When did Cocker sing the star spangled banner? I would love to see it!
February 12, 2023 @ 10:24 pm
He sang it at home, in the shower once.
February 13, 2023 @ 2:35 pm
Why would an Englishman be singing the star spangled banner?
Even tho the entire melody is from an English drinking song.
February 13, 2023 @ 3:54 pm
Of course Cocker never sang the Anthem.
The point was that both of them have voices that sound like they gargled a handful of thumb tacks. I suppose if you like rock music that voice is appealing. But I’m a country music fan. Prefer good voices like Haggard, Jones, Strait & Lefty. None of my country friends cared for that performance either.
February 18, 2023 @ 2:56 pm
But we don’t know he never did. Even with computers they could never tell. As mentioned up thread, he could have easily sung The Anacreontic Song which is the same melody. Life is full of mystery!
February 12, 2023 @ 5:25 pm
A fantastic rendition! Glad to see Chris playing a Tele instead of his usual Jazzmaster. Cheers!
February 13, 2023 @ 7:17 am
I agree, except I was disappointed that he didn’t have the Jazzmaster!
February 12, 2023 @ 5:27 pm
Babyface was just Incredible with America The Beautiful!
And, Chris did a Great job with our National Anthem!
Hats off, & love ❤️ to these two gentlemen, for their gorgeous performances.
Todd J Peterson
February 12, 2023 @ 5:37 pm
Didn’t have the game turned on because I don’t care about it. But THIS was a performance! Bravo!
February 12, 2023 @ 6:38 pm
He nailed it. The best I’ve ever heard!
February 12, 2023 @ 6:39 pm
Oh yes!! So good as expected. Chris is the man!!
February 12, 2023 @ 6:43 pm
Wish he could’ve stuck around for halftime!
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
February 14, 2023 @ 11:07 am
Rhianna x Stapleton collab???
February 14, 2023 @ 10:08 pm
Rhianna?? I thought that was Sturgill’s latest concept video. Jk
February 16, 2023 @ 9:49 am
I thought Rihanna managed a spectacular show considering she’s five months pregnant. (And the halftime show had 5 million more viewers than the actual game so, good choice….)
February 12, 2023 @ 7:04 pm
Got to love how the NFL intentionally de-synced the audio and visual of Stapleton’s performance in re-broadcast in order to lamely attempt to cover the horrible karaoke that preceded him. They should have done everything in their power to get Tina Turner instead. Seriously, “Private Dancer” is one of my favorite albums ever, and Tina is a fucking BOSS.
February 12, 2023 @ 7:47 pm
Turner retired from live performance 14 years ago, Coat.
February 12, 2023 @ 8:26 pm
Respect to her. Switzerland is probably nice. She totally deserves an a awesome retirement. Just miss world class entertainers bringing it live… “Mumble” rap, and lip-synced corporate pop, and ridiculous “country” radio “artists”, not so much… Nothing new, I lived through New Kids on the Block, etc. etc.
February 13, 2023 @ 5:27 am
Turner is in terrible health. She had a stroke, had to learn how to walk again, and considered assisted suicide before getting a kidney transplant. She’ll never perform again.
February 12, 2023 @ 7:20 pm
Fantastic job by Chris. Best that I can remember but I am obviously biased (based on being on this site).
February 12, 2023 @ 7:54 pm
Martina McBride at Lambeau Field 2 weeks after 9/11.
Johnny Cashless Society
February 12, 2023 @ 9:41 pm
I really dug this. It wasn’t the powerhouse performance that – say – Whitney Houston brought, but it was soulful, with a great hit of melancholy. It really cements my opinion that Chris Stapleton is the best artist currently working in “mainstream” country music.
February 13, 2023 @ 4:47 am
Chris Stapleton totally lip synced that, as powerful as his voice is, he barely moved and you don’t sing like that and not move and show some motion, plus while playing the guitar, come on people….. the guy y’all love to pick on has done the best version by a country singer so far and Chris Stapleton was a backup singer for him as well and it’s not other than Billy Ray…
February 13, 2023 @ 8:06 am
Watching it live, there was no doubt in my mind that Chris Stapleton sang this live, just like there is no doubt that Sheryl Lee Ralph lip synced “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The video of Stapleton seems to be a bit out-of-sync with the audio, which is very common in these instances of instant video. If I had any notion Stapleton lip synced the performance, I would be the first to call him out.
February 17, 2023 @ 10:15 am
Saw Kendell Marvel’s
tweet-100% LIVE. He should know, being a personal friend and co-writer of “Either Way”.
February 13, 2023 @ 10:36 am
Bo, you’re a fool. This wasn’t lip synced. Fox broadcast was off for all audio from the pregame on. The studio boys were even off when they were talking. You really think Chris Stapleton or any artist would be exactly one second off each word lip syncing an entire song?
pull your head out of your arse and realize it was the broadcast.
February 13, 2023 @ 10:52 am
Went back and watched multiple live acoustic clips of Stapleton and sometimes he hits some powerful notes without opening his mouth much. (which is incredible) He’s on the level of a Vince Gill or George Jones as far as being damn near perfect every time. And in that Star Spangled Banner video his limited mouth movements do match his other live acoustic performances. If I was comparing the video to any other singer but himself – yeah I’d agree it was lipsynced.
Watch the 2.28 mark of the Star Spangled video – his tongue movement matches the audio. However to your claim, he never once opened his mouth wider or appeared to noticeable move to hit a higher note. And on “free” his mouth movement matches the audio.
February 13, 2023 @ 7:49 pm
Not sure if you’ve ever seen him live. He refuses to use tracks, would rather his music be authentic than perfect. I have no idea what the SB protocol is. He’s a beast, stands up there for hours, with those powerhouse vocals, and barely moves.
February 13, 2023 @ 4:59 am
There was a game last night?
February 13, 2023 @ 5:34 am
We don’t agree on much in this country, but the general consensus (based on social media comments/replies), it was the best since Whitney. It’s hard to find a negative comment (1 out of 100).
What’s curious is the “I don’t like country music, but …” and a lot of the posts on TikTok from non-country music fans analyzing/ breaking the performance down.
February 13, 2023 @ 7:57 am
Simple, yet effective. Beautiful.
February 13, 2023 @ 8:43 am
there’s not an hint of american blood in my veins but i was moved.
Seen the guy live, i understand he’s not the purest unkwown junkie outlaw honky tonker out there but c’mon! He’s dynamite!!
February 13, 2023 @ 10:59 am
My girlfriend LOVES it when 20 times each Sunday I point out that the NFL plays “30 year old Pearl Jam songs and “sell-out” Metallica songs” when cutting to commercial, but always has pop for the halftime show!
Metallica for halftime 2024!! Make it the first non-lip-synch performance in decades!
February 13, 2023 @ 6:13 pm
Have to agree with so many commenters here: He was great, and for me that was because he just sang the song in such a straight-forward way. It’s a song made for bombast, and that’s what most people go for, especially at the Super Bowl, but Chris just sang it from the heart without pushing himself into the foreground. Beautiful.
February 13, 2023 @ 7:52 pm
I couldn’t agree more. I’m a big fan of his and with that voice, he could have done a lot of vocal gymnastics. He let the song be the star. I loved it.
February 13, 2023 @ 7:59 pm
I didn’t just hear it, I felt it. I love his music so am not unbiased. It was was moving, respectful, and powerful. I wish my WWII Veteran Dad was here to hear it. He’d of loved it.
February 13, 2023 @ 8:49 pm
I was moved to tears & I’m not even American! He’s incredible!
February 14, 2023 @ 1:27 pm
Late to the comments, but that almost made me well-up, and I’m English! Mind you, I had the good fortune of marrying an American 🙂 Have to credit Stapleton as my starting point into listening to County, and I hope this performance does likewise to many more. Just because he’s played on “mainstream” doesn’t make him any less “Country” or less talented. Put biases aside and just enjoy good music, no matter who plays it.
February 14, 2023 @ 5:59 pm
I must have heard something else; What I heard was slow and drained any energy from the song completely.
February 15, 2023 @ 4:05 pm
Best rendition since Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA AllStar game. Maybe the best I’ve ever heard, but then again, I’m from Motown so Marvin is my man. Whitney just not my style. When she would sing, I always felt like someone’s older sister was yelling at me for something…
Chris totally killed it, definitely live, I study this kind of stuff.
February 17, 2023 @ 7:49 am
I can report that Stapleton’s rendition has won over a family member of mine. Was talking to my brother last night (who is more of a rock and blues fan and not much of a country fan) about the Super Bowl and he brought up Stapleton and how perfect he thought his rendition was. Soulful, yet restrained. Of course, I agreed and then I said “you know I’m a long-time fan, right?” Because I had mentioned him to my brother once. Anyway, now he’s checking out a Stapleton playlist on Spotify and want to go see him live.