Sheryl Lee Ralph, The Abbott Elementary diva Ralph performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at tonight’s Super Bowl. On the field, she had the support of a full choir. You can see it below. Prior to Chris Stapleton’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Ralph, who is also well-known for her part in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, sang her rendition of the unofficial Black National Anthem at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.
Styled by her daughter Ivy-Victoria Maurice, Sheryl wore a strapless custom jumpsuit Harbison. The ensemble featured a puff sleeves and a train detail.
The actress’s makeup matched her sophisticated look, as she opted for natural look with pink blush and smokey eyes. She accessorized with stunning earrings from Nikos Koulis and matching red pumps.
Rihanna headlines the official halftime show—it’ll be her first public performance in almost seven years.
The record begins with, “Lift every voice and sing/ ’Til earth and heaven ring/ Ring with the harmonies of Liberty/ Let our rejoicing rise/ High as the listening skies.” James Weldon Johnson, a founder of the NAACP, initially penned the hymn as a poem in the 1800s. It was initially performed by 500 schoolchildren in segregated Jacksonville, Florida, in 1905, after James’ brother John Rosamond Johnson had set it to music in honor of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The civil rights struggle gave “Lift Every Voice and Sing” popularity, and it has subsequently come to be known as “The Black National Anthem.”