We’re currently in the process of finding out who will play in the final game of the season, but the non-football related entertainment portion of Super Bowl LII is now set.
The league announced Monday that Pink — or P!NK — will perform the national anthem before kickoff on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. This will be the first Super Bowl appearance for the versatile star, who like halftime headliner Justin Timberlake, has maintained her popularity for, well, the entire century. This is not easy to do. Ask Hoobastank.
Pink follows in the footsteps of country star Luke Bryant, who sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LI in Houston. Other recent performers include Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys.
Gaga’s well-received performance at Super Bowl 50 helped open the doors for her halftime gig the following year, so perhaps we should start looking at these assignments as something of an audition in front of 111 million people. That doesn’t sound stressful at all.
I like Pink. She seems cool and relatable and she can really sing. She should do well here. I also respect the “P!NK” thing. All caps and a slammer. It takes gumption to ride-or-die with that stylization for almost 20 years.
Some fun national anthem-related minutia before we go. Did you know Kathy Lee Gifford handled duties at Super Bowl XXIX (49ers vs. Chargers)? Weird. Or that Beyoncé was the performer the last time Timberlake played halftime in Super Bowl XXXVIII (Patriots vs. Panthers)? Would you be surprised to know that Cher got things going before the Broncos and Falcons kicked off Super BowlXXXIII? (Well, we knew she was a supporter of the military.)
Finally, you kids out there should be aware that anyone who takes this gig is chasing the legend of Whitney’s zeitgeist-shaking performance at Super Bowl XXV. Superfluous personal fun fact: They would play Houston’s rendition before every one of my Little League games in 1991. I remember thinking the song was unnecessarily long back then, which I guess made me a pretty unpatriotic 11-year-old. I’ve since changed my opinion. Good luck, P!NK.