Fresh off of his electrifying performance with Smokey Robinson and Steve Wonder at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, Chris Stapleton will take the field Sunday (Feb. 12th) to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.
Videos by American Songwriter
Inspiration Behind the National Anthem
The “Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, is known as the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics of the song are based on a poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, written by Key, who served as a quartermaster in the Georgetown Artillery after he witnessed British ships conduct a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
It was the morning after the bombardment when Key observed the 15-star, 15-stripe flag continue to fly over Fort McHenry despite the destruction, which inspired him to pen the poem. The HMS Erebus, a ship in the Royal Navy, launched the rockets that provided the lyric, rockets’ red glare, and the UK bomb vessels allowed for the lyric, “bombs bursting in air.” The poem was soon published in newspapers where it was given the name “The Star Spangled Banner.”
It was later set to the tune of the song “To Anacreon in Heaven” by John Stafford Smith and became the national anthem of the U.S. in 1931. Key later served as a district attorney for Washington, D.C.
Facts About Francis Scott Key
- Name: Francis Scott Key
- Born: August 1, 1779, in Frederick County Maryland
- Died: January 11, 1843, in Baltimore, Maryland
- Graduated from: St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland
- Passed the bar in 1801
- Had a successful law practice in Georgetown
- Married to Mary Tayloe Lloyd
- Helped found the American Colonization Society (ACS) in 1816
- In 1823 he helped found what became the Virginia Theological Seminary
Super Bowl Performance Length History
In years past, the national anthem performance has been a main attraction for wagering during the Super Bowl. Stapleton’s performance will be no exception. One way to get in on the action is by guessing the length of the national anthem. Of the past six performers, three have gone over the two-minute mark. Jazmine Sullivan & Eric Church in 2021 ran 2:16, Gladys Knight in 2019 ran 2:01 and Luke Bryan in 2017 ran 2:04.
However, Mickey Guyton sang the anthem in 2022 and came in at a time of 1:55, while Demi Lovato ran 1:49 minutes long in 2020 and P!nk came in at 1:52 in 2018. Stapleton has a good shot at running over the 2 Minute and 5-second mark, especially if he riffs for a bit on his electric guitar, which he’s known to do, but will he do it for the national anthem?
How Long Will it Take Chris Stapleton to Sing the U.S. National Anthem?
|OVER 2 Minutes And 5 Seconds||-185|
|UNDER 2 Minutes And 5 Seconds||+140|
*Odds as of February 7
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National Anthem Singers at the Super Bowl Over the Past 20 Years
|2000||Faith Hill||Super Bowl XXXIV|
|2001||Backstreet Boys||Super Bowl XXXV|
|2002||Mariah Carey||Super Bowl XXXVI|
|2003||Dixie Chicks||Super Bowl XXXVII|
|2004||Beyonce||Super Bowl XXXVIII|
|2005||Combined Military Academy Choirs||Super Bowl XXXIX|
|2006||Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin||Super Bowl XL|
|2007||Billy Joel||Super Bowl XLI|
|2008||Jordin Sparks||Super Bowl XLII|
|2009||Jennifer Hudson||Super Bowl XLIII|
|2010||Carrie Underwood||Super Bowl XLIV|
|2011||Christina Aguilera||Super Bowl XLV|
|2012||Kelly Clarkson||Super Bowl XLVI|
|2013||Alicia Keys||Super Bowl XLVII|
|2014||Renee Fleming||Super Bowl XLVIII|
|2015||Idina Menzel||Super Bowl XLIX|
|2016||Lady Gaga||Super Bowl L|
|2017||Luke Bryan||Super Bowl LI|
|2018||Pink||Super Bowl LII|
|2019||Gladys Knight||Super Bowl LIII|
|2020||Demi Lovato||Super Bowl LIV|
|2021||Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan||Super Bowl LV|
|2022||Mickey Guyton||Super Bowl LVI|
Super Bowl LVII will be broadcast live on FOX beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images for ABA