Although much of the musical focus of last night’s Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida was placed on halftime show headliner The Weeknd, there was still room for some (aural) fireworks in the earlier segment of the show. Kicking off the evening’s broadcast was Californian R&B guitarist and songwriter H.E.R., who delivered a tasteful, graceful performance of “America The Beautiful” which gave way to an absolutely massive guitar solo.
Following H.E.R.’s performance, superstars of R&B and country Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church took to the stage to perform the national anthem. As the song crested, fighter pilots flew over the stadium and fireworks were shot into the air. Watch both performances above, and The Weeknd’s halftime show here.
In January, Sullivan released her fourth record, the excellent Heaux Tales. That record featured a collaboration with H.E.R., and led to memorable performances on Fallon and NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series. H.E.R. is nominated for three Grammys this year, and was just nominated for a Golden Globe for her original song for the Daniel Kaluuya-starring film Judas and the Black Messiah. Last year, she performed on SNL, debuting a new track and showing her support for #EndSARS, and appeared in a BET Awards cypher with Brandy, Teyana Taylor, and Erykah Badu.