Watch Eric Church perform unique 'Star-Spangled Banner' with Jazmine Sullivan at Super Bowl 2021

8 February 2021, 12:11

Eric Church performs at the Super Bowl LV
Eric Church performs at the Super Bowl LV. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Eric Church teamed up with Jazmine Sullivan for a special performance of the US National Anthem at this year's Super Bowl last night (February 7).

Church and Sullivan sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to kick off the night before the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off at Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

Dressed in a purple jacket, Eric Church began the song on his own, playing along on guitar, before R&B singer Sullivan joined for a few lines.

By the end of the performance, Church and Sullivan teamed up for powerful harmonies to finish off the anthem.

Watch the performance below:

Church recently said that he preferred to stay away from the challenging anthem for many years, telling Apple Music: "It's so hard. My first response was, nuh-uh ... I can't. I'm a stylist, not a vocalist."

He changed his mind when he heard the arrangement from producer Adam Blackstone, who also chose Church and Sullivan for the gig.

Read more: When Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem so beautifully she moved the nation to tears

"I thought, 'That's cool; that sounds like me,' and then I heard her, and I'm not missing a chance to sing with her," Church added. "And that was it. Once I heard her voice, I said, 'Okay, I'm in.'"

Church also told the Los Angeles Times that he hoped that a joint performance of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' from two artists of diverse backgrounds and genres would give a "patriotic moment" during a difficult period.

Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan
Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan. Picture: Getty

"I feel like, in this country, we've given up the common ground," Church said. "When I'm at a concert, I'm not thinking about how many people there are Republicans or Democrats. But that's how you win elections — you have to create the division, to rile up a base.

"And because of COVID, we've lost the things that used to unite us: concerts, sporting events, trips to Vegas with the boys.

Read more: The 10 greatest Super Bowl halftime performances ever, ranked

"I can tell you from the concert standpoint, the longer we go without people being able to put their arms around the person next to them and have a moment of communion, it gets more tenuous and more dangerous. And I think the reality of that is what happened at the Capitol."

The 2021 Super Bowl's halftime performance was headlined by The Weeknd. Previous performances of the National Anthem have included Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga and Gladys Knight.