Super Bowl 2013: Jennifer Hudson & Sandy Hook Kids Tackle 'America the Beautiful' — Thoughts?

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Jennifer Hudson Super Bowl 2013You knew it was going to be emotional: Oscar-winning American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson and 26 students from Sandy Hook Elementary School singing “America the Beautiful” before the Super Bowl XLVII kickoff in New Orleans’ Superdome. And indeed, the reality of their performance lived up to the expectation.

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Hudson, dazzling in a fitted black leather turtleneck and white knee-length skirt (with jaunty black buttons), utilized her signature wail to paint vivid pictures of the “amber waves of grain” and “purple mountain majesties” from the patriotic ditty we all know so well. It seems, in fact, that the (highly effective) Weight Watchers spokeswoman’s booming Gospel vibrato was made exactly for moments like stirring the hearts and souls of fans awaiting the start of televised sporting events.

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That said, it was the adorable students from the Newtown, CT school — at which 26 children and teachers were killed just over a month ago in a mass shooting — who brought added poignancy to the moment. It was certainly a lovely gesture from the NFL to extend the invite to these kids to the big game — offering a small bright spot to a community that has endured the unthinkable in recent weeks. And it was certainly a lovely musical moment to hear their innocent voices juxtaposed with Hudson’s Grammy-winning fireworks.

What did you think of Hudson’s “America the Beautiful”? Take our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments (55)

  • very emotionally manipulative

    Comment by james – February 3, 2013 03:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jennifer hudson didn’t even need to be out there, just let the kids sing the damn song.

      Comment by will – February 3, 2013 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Jennifer also lost people she loved to gun violence. I thought that it was very heartfelt and sweet

        Comment by KCC – February 3, 2013 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That was my thought exactly. Very touching for Jennifer to be involved. :)

          Comment by Kim R – February 3, 2013 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • It wasn’t a gun violence performance. It was a song and the kids were there because their loss was way more tragic than any one persons loss. Why? because it shocked america and took the lives of children barely starting to live life. If we were going to let everyone who lost someone on stage to sing then by all means invite all of the music industry. It was not heartfelt, she didn’t not need to sing any of it. Why is it wrong to let the kids sing it by themselves?

          Comment by will – February 3, 2013 05:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Why is it wrong to have Jennifer Hudson sing it

            Comment by J – February 3, 2013 06:34 PM PDT  
          • Will… your comment rages me!! loss is loss… cant compare and say someones is less significant than the other!!.. Besides… it needed a lead and she sang it well… both her and the children singing made it heartfelt!

            Comment by ruthd – February 3, 2013 07:52 PM PDT  
          • another thing… your comment I quote “Why? because it shocked america and took the lives of children barely starting to live life” duh! if you read the news or had heart enough to care for all victims of gun voilence; her nephew who barely started life also died due to gun violence no fault of hers! Why is she being judged?? It werent like she forced herself there.

            Comment by ruth – February 3, 2013 07:57 PM PDT  
          • So her family’s death due to gun violence is less important because it didn’t affect the nation? Please have a seat you insensitive, callous jerk!

            Comment by DeviousDaniD – February 3, 2013 09:21 PM PDT  
          • Jennifer is an Oscar and Grammy winning singer … on that alone you can justify her being up on stage… the fact that she has personal experience with losing family members to violence, makes her connection to these kids unique, a connection I am fortunate enough not to share … I could not think of a better person to stand with these kids to sing this song …

            Comment by Tommyo2000 – February 4, 2013 08:44 AM PDT  
      • Agreed. The kids were doing a fine job with the song; they didn’t need her there.

        Comment by Tess – February 3, 2013 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This! thank you. I was just about to post. how pathetic is it to take advantage of such a tragedy? And America is Beautiful? yeah, except for the crazies (that every country would love to sweep under the rug).

      Comment by guest – February 3, 2013 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The performance was fine, but do these children really have to be exploited THIS much? They’ve lost friends, and now they’re being taken away from their homes to do this.

    Comment by Mar – February 3, 2013 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s not like they were stolen under cover of darkness and shoved into bags! Don’t be so dramatic.

      Comment by Joy – February 3, 2013 03:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Did you see those kids? Grinning ear to ear. This was an honor and a privilege for them. Nobody kidnapped them, and while you could argue this was exploitative, I don’t think it was. I think it was a way to honor the tragedy and provide some fun for the kids.

      Comment by Jane – February 3, 2013 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I will never understand why people take it upon themselves to be morally outraged on the behalf of others before they know whether the others feel it is warranted. I dare say that this moment will be one of the highlights of these kids lives, something they will remember forever. If, for any child, this is not true, then let those close to that child be the ones to be outraged and fight that fight for them.

      Comment by ben – February 3, 2013 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • everything is political. Millions of people are watching the Super Bowl and the people who are in charge of the show are only interested in making money. So what do you get when you have a bunch of kids who just went through a tragedy related to gun violence? You have an opportunity to exploit that tragedy for a lot of money. There is no doubt that after the Super Bowl, more people decided to vote for more gun control – that is just a fact, and to say that someone wouldn’t do this to those kids for that reason is just ignorant. So what do you do next? Well first you record a rendition of “America the Beautiful” and then let the kids sing with it (it was obvious they were lip-syncing. Honestly, those kids had no rhythm – it was like they’d never heard music before. And if your chorus is that beautiful.. you can handle swaying back in forth. And how does the school that got shot up just happen to have the most amazing chorus ever? Yeah i don’t think so. Then you get Jennifer Hudson being awesome on top of that so no one’s paying attention to the kids.) Anyways, i’m sure those kids didn’t feel they were exploited, but it is no doubt that someone either approached the directors of the halftime show and offered them a lot of money for the slot, or it happened in reverse. There is too much political push involved in that performance for someone to not have made money off of it.

      Comment by chris – February 4, 2013 09:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That shirt was hideous!

    Comment by lee – February 3, 2013 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They made me cry. and then showing the troops totally pulled at my heart strings.

    Comment by Rachel – February 3, 2013 03:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously, how could you not give that an A? And I wouldn’t call that exploiting the kids. I would call it giving them an opportunity NOBODY gets that will most likely be a highlight of their entire lives.

    Comment by Brandon – February 3, 2013 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m still crying.

    Comment by Julie – February 3, 2013 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Remember Jennifer Hudson lost family to gun violence as well.
    For those saying taking the kids to the Super Bowl is manipulative, they get a paid trip to,do something fun and will go,home with a positive memory for them and their town.

    Comment by Diane Wilshere – February 3, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally forgot about Jennifer’s history with gun violence. That just adds extra poignancy. Amazing.

      Comment by Jane – February 3, 2013 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yep the trip they got was so much cheaper than other ways to get more publicity. cheap trick, in every way.

      Comment by guest – February 3, 2013 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No greater commentary on gun violence than having the Sandy Hook chorus and Jennifer Hudson sharing the stage. Kudos, NFL.

    Comment by pecola – February 3, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • it was a beautiful messaage. America is beautiful, despite the violence that touched these children as well as Hudson whose mother was murdered.

    Comment by Melissa – February 3, 2013 03:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anyone know who the two people were that introduced Hudson and the choir? I’m trying to find out who the woman in the pink was

    Comment by Ncj – February 3, 2013 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beautiful…just Beautiful!!! How can anyone say this was an exploitation? Think about it people these children are healthing, so give them fantastic memories to help with the process. I’m only 26 and yet I’m having to tell you to grow up?!!!

    Comment by Andrea – February 3, 2013 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How come people have this idea that people who goes through a tragedy must not do anything? Are they are suppose to just stop living their lives? No they are not. These kids bought tears to my eyes cause I am seeing strong kids who went through hell singing a beautiful song. Too bad people seem to have a bad attitude towards those people who don’t sit on their butts feeling sorry for themselves.

    Comment by cupcakehussle – February 3, 2013 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beautiful. To bad they didn’t sing the National Anthem too.

    Comment by Rebecca – February 3, 2013 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She sounded and looked great. very moving performance.

    Comment by daffywak – February 3, 2013 03:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The kids were amazing and Jennifer looked amazing but her singing was way too overwrought. She took me out of the emotional feelings the kids inspired.

    Comment by theo – February 3, 2013 03:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Amazing. The NFL did good.

    Comment by Alex – February 3, 2013 04:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just want to say that I think it’s gross that people are calling this a “Beyonce concert”.

    Comment by Ulose – February 3, 2013 04:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well on one team you have homophobes on the other a reported murderer. It is a Beyonce concert.

      Comment by dee123 – February 3, 2013 04:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a sweet thing for the kids who have gone through more than most of us. The way the one little girl kept staring at Ms. Hudson was adorable. The kids looked happy to be there. Precious children in a country like ours suffer way too much.

    Comment by Lore Lacny – February 3, 2013 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Should we really be grading how the survivors of a massacre did? Haha…it just feels wrong :P

    Comment by Josh – February 3, 2013 04:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • From someone outside the US, this felt really, really forced. I know Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but it just felt preachy.
    I suppose the kids loved the experience though, so I’m not gonna complain. They did look extremely happy.

    Comment by liddad – February 3, 2013 05:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely a new low in American history. making money off victims of an elementary school shooting. can we sink any lower?

    Comment by erin l. – February 3, 2013 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You want to do nice things for kids that have been through so much – but it is wrong to exploite them. Kind of sick.

    Comment by Mr John – February 3, 2013 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I dont understand why people are mad that the kids and jennifer hudson sang in honor of the tragedy. It was beautiful and people need to stop getting angry over nothing!

    Comment by kayla – February 3, 2013 06:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thought the singing was nice. Did not like the JHud look. We know you lost a lot of weight but it just looked trashy.

    Comment by forwarddad – February 3, 2013 07:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She looked fabulous! I’ve seen her Weight Watchers commercials and all, so I knew she’d lost weight, but she really looked great tonight.

    Comment by Rachel – February 3, 2013 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The irony is, the same violence in our culture that killed those kids is rampant in all NFL games. Look at the fights. How many NFL players have been indited for crime, drugs, and common thugery. Heck, a head coach was even banned for trying to make hits on opposing players. And gun control supporters run those kids out there to support an America that is in demise..

    Comment by Tony – February 3, 2013 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How did they let Jennifer Hudson ruin the sweet singing of the children by her overwrought screaming and yelling? I thought she sounded hideous and I cringed every time she hit one of ther ear piercing shrieks. What a shame that the children were drowned out and their heartfelt voices could barely be heard.

    Comment by Susan – February 3, 2013 10:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it was really touching. However, it could have been nicer without Mrs. Hudson. She sings great, however, she was not needed, the children sang amazine. Also, the NFL should consider. Using choirs every year. Why spen extra money on additional acts when we have wonderful choirs all around the U.S….we didn’t need Hudson, Keyes, beyonce. All at the same time.

    Comment by Maria Saldana – February 4, 2013 12:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Didn’t watch it so can’t comment on performance. At first I thought they didn’t sing the national anthem, but found out differently. That’s a good thing. As far as the kids go, I’m sure they were excited, but I think that they are being exploited for political purposes which is uncalled for. The whole incident is being exploited for political agendas that are walking all over our constitution. Yes, it was a tragedy and should never happened. Using what happened and the kids for political purpose and agendas is unforgiveable.

    Comment by Jean – February 4, 2013 03:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • how come they brought out people deeply traumatised by US gun laws to sing how beautiful it is?

    Comment by JJ – February 4, 2013 04:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it would have been nice if Jennifer acknowledged the children better and bowed / bent her head to them at the end of the song. She just stood there like a dope in the end.

    Comment by CB – February 4, 2013 06:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The kids were great. Should have left it at that. Went completely downhill once Hudson came out and “sang”.

    Comment by Jack – February 4, 2013 08:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Jennifer Hudson; I have ever since I first heard her sing on American Idol. But I wish “they” had let the kids sing without her. I don’t think it was exploiting the kids or the tragedy to include them. Nothing will ever take the horror that happened that day away, but at least now, they can look back and smile at the wonderful time they had performing at the Super Bowl.

    Comment by Carolyn – February 4, 2013 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It cracks me up that people are saying Hudson shouldn’t have sung, the kids sounded amazing. Of course they did. It was a prerecorded track. They had no microphones and their volumes never wavered. Hudson however was live. I’m not against the kids being there. I hope they had a great time.
    But, I can’t understand why people wouldn’t want a talented singer to perform when the kids weren’t actually singing. Atleast we didn’t actually hear their singing. I just hope it was those kids on the recording.

    Comment by Soundtopound – February 4, 2013 10:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am sorry to see that you cannot stop criticizing. Can`t you just try to enjoy the performance and go with that?

    Comment by TVGirl – February 4, 2013 04:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There is certainly a lot to learn about this issue. I like all the points you have made

    Comment by hit – February 6, 2013 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
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    Comment by Anonymous – February 6, 2013 09:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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