Andra Day says singing “Lift Every Voice & Sing” at the Super Bowl is an “honor … feels intentional”

Andra Day says the opportunity to take the Super Bowl 58 stage with a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” feels just right. 

She spoke about the big gig in a press conference Thursday, opening up about the “honor” it is to be the one who’ll sing the song widely known as the Black national anthem.

“More than anything, it’s an honor, you know, it’s exciting,” Day expressed. 

She said the upcoming performance “feels intentional,” adding, “I like to do things with intention and with purpose.”

It was announced last month that Day had been added to the pregame festivities, ahead of the halftime show headlined by Usher on Sunday. Award-winning musical director Adam Blackstone will produce the segment. 

“Ultimately the song is a hymn,” Day said, recalling a conversation she had with her mom. “And I’m like, ‘it is.’ It’s a hymn of triumph and that’s what I want people to encounter when I sing the song. I want them to know that we have victory and we have peace already.”

She noted that singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was created by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and first performed at a segregated school, comes with a bit of a burden. 

“It’s not so much a burden,” she clarified. “I keep telling people, I just really want to diminish myself as much as possible. And for me, spiritually, just make space for a move of God.”

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