You 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.
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.
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.
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