MIAMI — The feared high and low notes of the national anthem should be easily navigated this year at Super Bowl XLVIII.
That’s because the honor of performing the difficult song has been given to famed soprano Renee Fleming, who will perform it before the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb 2, as 164 million people watch from home, Fox announced on Tuesday.
Fleming is the first opera star to sing the anthem at the Super Bowl. In recent years, it has been performed mainly by pop and country stars. At the 2011 Super Bowl, Christina Aguilera forgot some of the lyrics. And 23 years later, the gold standard remains Whitney Houston’s 1991 Super Bowl rendition in Tampa of The Star Spangled Banner, although she was accused by some of lip-synching.
Fleming, known as “the people’s diva,” is a four-time Grammy winner, including the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo.
The soprano is closely identified with the New York City region, having spent years singing on iconic stages such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
One of the world’s most celebrated singers, Fleming performs in opera stages and in concert halls.
Fleming has performed at other major events including the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Olympics in Beijing. She also sang anthem before Game 2 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.
At a White House ceremony last July, President Barack Obama awarded Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist.
Fleming joins other singer who have performed at the big game including: Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond,Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Harry Connick, Jr., Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Jewel, Cher, Faith Hill, the Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks and Beyonce Knowles.
This year, singer Bruno Mars will perform in the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show.