Jazmine Sullivan on Singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LV
Jazmine Sullivan is excited to sing on the world’s biggest stage. ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with the 33-year-old singer ahead of her singing the national anthem at Super Bowl LV alongside country star Eric Church on Feb. 7, airing on CBS, and she talked about what singing with Church represents.
Sullivan and 43-year-old Church are singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay before the big game. Given the current political climate, Sullivan knows the significance of the two singing together, blending the R&B and country music genres.
“I have not met Eric yet, I’m excited to meet him, we definitely come from two totally different, um, everything,” she tells ET. “But, I’m excited, I think it will be cool to blend the different sounds of music and just show some unity.”
“I just hope that it brings unity and it shows that you can be from two different parts of life and come together, you know, for a good common cause, basically,” she continues.
Sullivan acknowledged she’s nervous ahead of the big performance, but mostly excited. She also pointed out that it will be the 30-year anniversary of when Whitney Houston sang her iconic rendition of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl.
“And obviously nobody can do another version, a better version than Whitney, but I’m just here to represent for my people and go up there and sing and bring some soul to it,” she says.
“I can’t even explain it, this is something that I never even imagined that I would get to in my career, so it came out of nowhere and I just feel so, so blessed to have this opportunity and just grateful,” she adds.
Meanwhile, Sullivan’s critically acclaimed new EP, Heaux Tales, is out now. Sullivan’s last album, 2015’s Reality Show, was released six years ago, and she said she’s been “overwhelmed” with the love her new music has received.
“You just never know how people are going to respond to your music and when I put it out, everybody just responded so well and it just filled me up with just so much love and confidence to keep going,” she says. “I feel so, so wonderful and I’m so glad that it’s meaning so much to women and especially Black women.”
“It was important to me just as a Black woman to be able to tell my story and not feel shame attached to it, and I wanted to do that for all women and all Black women,” she adds about the deeply personal new album. “As we go through life, we experience things and you are not your worst moment, you know what I am saying? You can grow from that situation and you can grow into something amazing if you give yourself the chance and don’t shame yourself for it, for the things that you have experienced and I just wanted to really give women that power back and let them know that who they are is enough, and walk in it.”
One famous fan she has is Issa Rae, and the two women recently got social media excited after a Twitter exchange teasing a short film by the two based on Heaux Tales. Sullivan tweeted, “What I would love is if me and @IssaRae did a heauxtales short film and I’d add a few extra songs. But I could just be dreaming. Nvm me. I’m crazy,” to which Rae replied, “Jazmine. Say the f**k less.” Sullivan tells ET that she and Rae are now talking about a collaboration.
“Oh my gosh, first of all I’m so excited that she even responded to me, so we’re actually in talks now,” she reveals. “We’re texting each other, we’re trying to figure out schedules and what we’re going to do but I love Issa Rae, I love everything that she does. She’s such a wonderful creative and I think we’re going to do something amazing, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we can get it together.”
These days, Sullivan is soaking in her incredible career success and all that’s to come. One special moment for her was seeing a giant billboard of herself up in Times Square in New York City, which she Instagrammed.
A post shared by Jazmine Sullivan (@jazminesullivan)
“The billboard in Times Square was definitely a pinch me moment, seeing myself up there just meant so much to me because I have been doing this for so long and just to see where we have grown to, just to see where I have started to now, I feel like things have changed so much and I am so proud of women like Lizzo who are able to be themselves and they stand up for women who don’t look like the normal Instagram girl or the normal star, so yeah, I still have pinch me moments,” she shares. “Obviously, the Super Bowl is a super pinch me moment and obviously this is going to be a great year and … and I am just excited to see what is going to come from this.”
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