LOS ANGELES — Country music star Mickey Guyton hit the Super Bowl stage to sing the national anthem, after R&B hitmaker Jhené Aiko performed “America the Beautiful.”
Backed up by a choir of white-suited singers and an enormous American flag, Guyton sang the anthem while an Air Force Heritage Flight zoomed overhead.
She told the Associated Press that she wanted the choir to showcase "every face of America." Reactions to her high-profile performance rolled in on social media, with actress Halle Berry summing up many of them: "Mickey Guyton. That’s the tweet."
Guyton, who told the Associated Press that she earned the nickname "Quickie Mickey" for singing the national anthem in a speedy 1:30, slowed it down to about 1:50 before the teams took the field. Wondering about the Super Bowl average? It's about 2 minutes.
Guyton has made history as the first Black woman to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category and first Black solo woman to host the ACM Awards. She’s a four-time Grammy nominee who is known for her hit song “Black Like Me.”
Who is Mickey Guyton?
The Texas native is known for breaking barriers with her hit song "Black Like Me," which bares the same name as John Howard's 1961 novel. The song is about her experiences navigating life and a career in country music as a Black woman. Guyton released the song in 2020 amid the spur of protests for Black Lives Matter that emerged across the nation after George Floyd's murder.
The 38-year-old singer made history at the Grammy Music Awards in 2021 after delivering a powerful performance of "Black Like Me," becoming the first solo Black woman artist to be nominated in a country category for the awards show. She later became the first Black woman artist to perform at the Academy of Country Music awards.
This is the second year in a row a country star was chosen to belt out the Star-Spangled Banner. Last Super Bowl, country singer Eric Church and R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan performed a duet of the song.
Who is performing the national anthem in ASL?
Actress Sandra Mae Frank will perform the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” in American Sign Language. She plays Dr. Wilder in NBC's medical drama "New Amsterdam" and has acted in several other shows and movies.
Frank is a graduate of the Kentucky School for the Deaf. When her role in the Super Bowl was announced, she thanked National Association of the Deaf on Twitter for its "incredible support" during her journey.
The performances will take place Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, before the championship matchup and halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. The performances and game will air on NBC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.