Music

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

NPR | Jan. 21, 2014 12:15 p.m.

Contributed By:

Anastasia Tsioulcas

From taffeta to tackles: soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.

From taffeta to tackles: soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Karin Cooper, Courtesy of Washington National Opera

She’s probably not among your first, or second, or tenth, or twentieth-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano RenĂ©e Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Fleming is the first-ever opera singer to be given the honor. The winner of four Grammy Awards and of the National Medal of Arts, Fleming has tried to cultivate an image of being an eminently approachable personality, much like Beverly Sills was for another generation; for years, her press materials have billed her as “the people’s diva.” And next Sunday’s performance just may well cement her reputation as not just the most “mainstream” of opera stars, especially as she begins to wind down her performance career. After all, last year’s game was watched by more than 164 million viewers in the U.S.

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