Gladys Knight opened the Super Bowl LIII pre-show with an inspiring rendition of the American national anthem, a.k.a. "The Star-Spangled Banner," on Sunday night (Feb. 3).

The 74-year-old Atlanta-born "Empress of Soul" appeared on TODAY Friday (Feb. 1), where she addressed ongoing controversy surrounding her Super Bowl national anthem performance decision amid backlash over the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

Before Knight took the field, Chloe x Halle, the R&B and alt-pop duo discovered by Beyonce, gave a harmonious performance of "America the Beautiful."

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