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Super Bowl National Anthem 2013: Grading Alicia Keys' Performance

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Alicia Keys  performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Pregame Show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2013

The Super Bowl National Anthem 2013 is over, and it's time to grade Alicia Keys' performance. 

Keys went dramatic with the piano and went slow and steady. It was a performance that was a bit long, but it was a chance to showcase her incredible voice. 

It was definitely a slow performance, with each word measured and clear. In fact, it was one of the longest performances of all-time:

I clocked Alicia Keys at 156.4 seconds, breaking the SB mark of 152 seconds by Natalie Cole and choir in 1994.

— David Barron (@dfbarron) February 3, 2013


Keys made sure to enunciate every word of the anthem. She stretched out the most important words, like "free" and "brave."

The piano was a very nice touch. It got rave reviews on Twitter:

How about that dark minor chord on the final "land of the free"? Pretty tasty. Nice one, Alicia Keys. #StarSpangledBanner

jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) February 3, 2013

Her performance was dark and melancholy, which was appropriate given that students from Sandy Hook Elementary School had sung God Bless America a few minutes prior.

Her performance deserved an A-. The piano was beautiful and, while long, it was more of a chance to show off her voice.

Overall, it was one of the better performances in Super Bowl history. It combined a great voice, star power and tremendous music to deliver on all fronts. 

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