Remember How Chris Stapleton’s Super Bowl National Anthem Brought an NFL Coach to Tears? [Watch]
Chris Stapleton's National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 2023 has aged like fine wine. The country singer's version of the "Star Spangled Banner" brought players and coaches to tears — real tears! — and solidified him as cross-genre legend.
On Feb. 12, 2023, the soon-to-be ACM Entertainer of the Year took the field with his guitar, wearing sunglasses and a black jacket and slacks. Stapleton left his signature hat on the sideline to sing the National Anthem, and from the very first pulls of guitar, you knew it was going to be special.
Patiently, he worked through the lyrics. Stapleton didn't stray far from the song's original structure, but definitely delivered an original in the way the best performers do. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was moved. So was Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.
Skip ahead to 1:58 to see Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in tears:
While Stapleton made it look easy, he would later admit to being terrified. The "White Horse" singer says he prepared more for that performance than any other TV performance.
"That National Anthem's a hard one for any singer, I don't care who you are," he told Today's Willie Geist in October.
In 2024, Reba McEntire will have the job, making it four straight years that a country singer has performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl (Eric Church and Mickey Guyton did it before Stapleton).
Super Bowl LVII takes place on Feb. 11 on CBS.
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Gallery Credit: Jess