Chris Stapleton's Powerful “Star-Spangled Banner”

Chris Stapleton's Powerful “Star-Spangled Banner”

Following 2023’s Superbowl, few had anything but love for Chris Stapleton’s powerful performance of the “The Star Spangled Banner.” 

Worth watching a few times, the singer-songwriter wrote several hit songs for country, rock, and pop artists before beginning his career as a performer and earning three awards at the 2015 CMA Awards, including New Artist of the Year. Chris Stapleton has continued to earn awards and, most recently, high praise for his moving rendition of our national anthem!

Everything about the Super Bowl is debated! The calls by officials, the performance of individual players, the cleverness of high-dollar advertisements, the flash of the half-time show, and the beauty of the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—they are discussed and dissected well after the victory has been won. Super Bowl 57 is no exception, but most agree that this year’s opening anthem was something special!

Watch the coaches and players as they listen to the words Chris sings. We can’t see the singer’s eyes behind his dark glasses, but we can certainly see others’. Philadelphia Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni is the first face we see after the song begins. It’s impossible to know what thoughts are running through his mind in those moments, but his tears as the song progresses certainly indicate that a sense of deep appreciation must be one!

As Mr. Stapleton sings, the video shows the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), surrounded by hundreds of military men and women, at NAS North Island in San Diego. Dozens of red-clad, young people hold our flag taut and face-up from the field so that it can be fully viewed. 

A sign language interpreter translates the words, which makes the song nearly as beautiful to watch as to hear. And several other players are shown, including Jason Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. Some mouth the words; others close their eyes in silent prayer. 

Chris Stapleton’s performance feels pure without a lot of fancy, showy tricks that often detract from the beauty of the lyrics. He has a bluesy voice, typically singing slow songs slower than one might expect. But that seems wholly appropriate here. After all, if the half-time show gets around 20 minutes, our national anthem should get 2! And, in case you haven’t heard, there is a whole wagering science behind the length of the singing of the national anthem. Who knew?

At 1:57, Chris lands the note and the word “brave,” and we see fireworks and female fighter pilots in the sky. It is a beautiful song done well! Many people who don’t love football watch the Super Bowl, and it might have at least a little to do with national pride, appreciation of God’s blessings, and a feeling of shared patriotism. Chris Stapleton seemed to have communicated that with his gift to the game! 

“rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

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