By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., AP Entertainment Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Not everyone is watching Super Bowl 53 for the love of football — celebrities are a big part of the day, too. Here’s a breakdown of what is happening with entertainers on Sunday in Atlanta.
GLADYS KNIGHT, CHLOE X HALLE FILLED WITH JOY
Gladys Knight was all smiles as she blew kisses to everyone, and Chloe x Halle were almost speechless after their pregame performance at Super Bowl 53.
Knight called her rendition of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” an “exciting moment” and “one to remember” in the tunnel of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the New England Patriots played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Atlanta. The 74-year-old singer was all smiles as she thanked everyone who supported her through the controversy involving performers who were criticized for performing at the NFL’s marquee game.
Before Knight performed, the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle sang “America the Beautiful.” The group said their experience was “wonderful” and were “thankful to God” for the opportunity.
Both Knight and Chloe x Halle put on strong performances. They have been surrounded by the controversy after some have boycotted the NFL over treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback who protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
While some performers declined participation in the Super Bowl, Knight said she hoped her anthem would unite people.
Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi will headline the halftime show at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
JAMIE FOXX TAKES SELFIES WITH CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS
Jamie Foxx took several selfies with civil rights pioneers John Lewis and Andrew Young on the sidelines before kickoff at Super Bowl 53.
After taking pictures with them, Foxx shook Lewis and Young’s hand then told them they inspire him. Lewis and Young were sitting in the back of the golf cart while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter Bernice King sat in the front.
Beforehand, Foxx strolled down the sideline and took videos of the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium as many chanted his name before the New England Patriots faced the Los Angeles
Rams in Atlanta on Sunday. The Oscar-winning actor said he is a longtime fan of the Dallas Cowboys, but he is rooting for the Patriots.
“I’m going with Tom Brady today,” Foxx said. “I think he’s going to pull it off.”
Foxx said he’s been coming to the Super Bowl for many years, calling each time a “different experience.” He performed at the Maxim party that also featured Future and Diplo on Saturday night.
“I’ve been coming to the Super Bowl for many years,” he said. “Every year, it’s special. It’s great. It’s nothing like football.”
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