Queen Latifah Dazzles Singing the National Anthem on ‘Sunday Night Football’

Queen Latifah stunned with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on September 10, when she opened up Sunday Night Football on NBC. Ahead of a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, the Queen took the podium and tore the house down at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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Latifah was backed up by a choir comprised of members of the New York City Fire Department and the New York Police Department. The game (and performance) arrived one day ahead of the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

[RELATED: Queen Latifah, Dionne Warwick, Barry Gibb to Receive 2023 Kennedy Center Honors]

Robed in a silken white blazer and pants, Latifah looked radiant as she stood in front of the singers. As her voice ascended for the “rockets’ red glare” line, crimson fireworks shot up from around the stadium, lending the moment true bombast. At one point, an absolutely gargantuan American flag covered the field as well.

The online reactions to Latifah’s take on the national anthem were overwhelmingly positive. Some users mentioned her status as an Oscar nominee (for 2002’s Chicago) and one even called her a “quadruple threat: rapper, actress, singer and producer.”

This isn’t Latifah’s first time performing the anthem at a pro football game. She also gave her own rendition at the NFL season opener, also between the Cowboys and the Giants, back in 2012. It was a much jazzier take on the tune.

The Queen herself is a native of New Jersey, born in Newark and raised in East Orange. In a 1991 interview with MTV, she spoke about buying a video-rental store in her home state, which, along with her successful music career, helped her afford her first house.

“When we first started, we always wanted to be these entrepreneurs,” Latifah, then 21 years old, said. “This is a start. It’s nothing major like a Blockbuster, but it will become a Blockbuster if it’s run properly, if it turned out to be something that’s marketable in different ways.”

Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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