Andra Day talks about singing the black national anthem at the Super Bowl – The Hollywood Reporter


Andra Day says she hasn’t performed the National Anthem in some time because she was waiting to sing the Black National Anthem first.

“I’ll tell you, honestly, I haven’t done an anthem in a while because what I kept saying is, ‘I don’t want to do it again until I can sing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.'” ” she said The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday after performing the famous anthem at Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“The first time I heard they did this, even though it wasn’t televised with Alicia (Keys), I was elated. And then seeing Sheryl Lee Ralph do it, it was incredible. To even be able to follow in the footsteps of those women, or be in their shoes, is a true honor,” Day continues. “And what I loved about this song is that my mom was looking at the lyrics and said, ‘This is an anthem.’ And that’s what people forget. You know, because people get up sadly because of it. But I don’t think that’s always the case.”

The Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-nominated actress added that it was “a true honor to represent our ancestors, the people who came before us, the people who truly sacrificed.

“But it was also amazing to be in the present and say, ‘This song is for everyone.’ We should see this as a beacon, as a ray of hope for the future,” she stated.

Day, known for her strong vocal skills, says she hired vocal coach Rob Stevenson, who has worked with Justin Timberlake and Rihanna, to prepare for the performance.

“I haven’t toured in a while and I haven’t really sung consistently. And then the movies I made really changed my voice, so it’s been a battle of confidence. It’s been a battle of skill, you know? So I really wanted to make sure we included help,” she admitted. “I was just telling my team, ‘I need help. I’m really nervous. I want to do it well.’ And that was it. My team just helped me recover, practicing and taking care of my voice. And just talking about everything, praying about everything, that was a big part of it.”

Although Day’s performance was praised, she said she still felt nervous afterwards: “It’s a little crazy to even say it’s over. I mean, I’ve been really nervous and looking forward to it at the same time since November when we got the news. It’s funny, I still feel nervous about something that happened. But I also feel euphoric. I feel grateful, and honestly, I’m in this place of gratitude, to God, to every member of my team, to everyone here. I felt as if in the countryside people today chose joy. And that’s a really beautiful thing.”

Day won the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for United States vs. Billie Holiday, and her riveting performance as Holiday in the film earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress. When she is asked which event was the most intense of the awards show and the Super Bowl, she says, “Oh, you know what? The Super Bowl might be the craziest. There is no audience like the Super Bowl. My God. It’s overwhelming, but in a good way. “Everyone is very happy.”

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