Gladys Knight confirms Super Bowl gig
Gladys Knight is "proud" to be performing the US national anthem at the Super Bowl LII, despite calls for the pre-game show to be boycotted for Colin Kaepernick.
Gladys Knight has confirmed she is performing the US national anthem at the Super Bowl LII.
The 'Midnight Train To Georgia' hitmaker says she is "proud" to have landed the gig to sing 'The Star- Spangled Banner' before the big game kicks off at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in her hometown of Georgia, Atlanta, on February 3, despite the controversy surrounding the flagship NFL game.
Many people - including actress Amy Schumer and pop star Rihanna, who reportedly refused to perform at the halftime show - have called on performers to boycott the event for former San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick - who was exiled from the NFL for his #TakeAKnee movement, which saw him and several other players refuse to stand during the national anthem at games because of the protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
Speaking to TMZ.com after the announcement, Knight said: "I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta.
"The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honoured to be a part of its inaugural year."
The 74-year-old music icon's statement comes after rapper Travis Scott faced criticism agreeing to join Maroon 5 on stage at the world famous sporting event.
However, The 'Astroworld' rapper reportedly spoke with Kaepernick before he agreed to the gig.
Sources told Variety that Travis had "at least one" phone conversation with the sportsman before he confirmed his appearance, and though they did not necessarily agree, they ended the chat with "mutual respect and understanding."
The 26-year-old star is said to have taken the stance that everyone makes a statement in their own way, and he felt the $500,000 donation he and the NFL agreed to make to non-profit social-justice organisation Dream Corps, as well as the platform of the Super Bowl, would do some good.
According to the insider, Travis refused to confirm his participation until the agreed donation was locked in.
The 'Sicko Mode' hitmaker admitted when the donation was announced that he hopes his performance can "inspire" and praised the work of Dream Corps., who support support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators.
He said: "I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in.
"I know being an artist that it's in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change."
Big Boi will also join Maroon 5 at the pre-game performance.