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Who is Chris Stapleton, the artist who sings the national anthem at Super Bowl 2023?

With arguably the biggest stage on which an artist can perform ready to receive him, we’re taking a look at Chris Stapleton, the man set to open Super Bowl LVII.

With arguably the biggest stage on which an artist can perform ready to receive him, we’re taking a look at Chris Stapleton, the man set to open Super Bowl LVII.
Mike LawrieGetty

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While many will focus on the star-studded halftime show, there’s another performance that we’re going to bear witness to when Super Bowl LVII gets off and running. Indeed, country music superstar Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem ahead of the clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s take a look at who the artist is.

Introducing Chris Stapleton

As we now know, pop sensation Rihanna is set to headline the Super Bowl’s halftime show, but rest assured she’s not the only major star to be performing in what is the biggest event in American sports. Indeed, eight-time Grammy Award winner and country music superstar, Chris Stapleton, will be on hand to sing the national anthem ahead of Super Bowl LVII. The 44-year-old will be joined by actor Troy Kotsur, an Arizona native who recently won an Academy Award for his performance in the film “CODA.” Kotsur will present the national anthem in American Sign Language (ASL).

A master of the acoustic guitar, Stapleton will also see the likes of fellow Grammy Award-winning artist Babyface who will perform “America the Beautiful,” as well as Emmy-winning actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph who will be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” In the case of the sign language presentation of both songs, the responsibility will fall to Colin Denny who will sign “America the Beautiful,” while Justina Miles will sign “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Interestingly, Stapleton was reminded earlier this week of the stance he once took on the Super Bowl i.e., that he would only ever sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. His response was funny, while still being sincere. “I think I said it because I thought I wouldn’t get asked,” he told Apple Music. “The national anthem is not an easy song for singers and it’s one that you can, you know, it can go horribly wrong as we’ve seen many times in the past. Hopefully, it won’t happen for me, knock on wood, but yeah, if you’re going to do it, this is the place to do it.”

A Look at Chris Stapleton’s career

True fans will know, that long before he came to the attention of the country and folks beyond, following his 2015 debut album, Traveller, Chris Stapleton what you could call a best-kept secret of the music world. A Kentucky native, Stapleton moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2001 where he earned a living by writing scores of songs for other performers. Among them were stars such as Adele, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Joss Stone, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Sheryl Crow, and George Strait.

Where his individual career was concerned, Stapleton became the front man of a bluegrass group The SteelDrivers between 2008 and 2010, before becoming one half of the Jompson Brothers. From there, he would go on to sign a solo record deal with Mercury Nashville in 2013. From there, we’ve seen the “Tennessee Whiskey” singer pick up multiple Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) and 14 Country Music Association Awards (CMA). To that end, he was ACM’s Artist-Songwriter of the Decade in 2019.

Chris Stapleton & Adele? Who knew?

Though it might have shocked you to learn it above, the country music star did in fact work with the British singer, Adele, on songs that were included on the deluxe edition of her 2011 album, “If It Hadn’t Been for Love.” Written during his time with the Steeldrivers, Stapleton disclosed in a 2017 interview that “...This was before Adele was Adele” when referring to the cover. Given the vast difference between the genres which both artists sing, it only further serves to highlight the immense talent of Stapleton. A fitting choice indeed for the opening of Super Bowl LVII.


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