Super Bowl XLIX kicked off with two classy performances by singers John Legend and Idina Menzel.
Legend was up first with his soulful rendition of “America the Beautiful,” seated at a piano on the field in Glendale, Ariz. The R&B singer’s song “Glory” from the film “Selma” is nominated for an Academy Award for best original song, which he’ll perform with rapper Common at the awards show on Feb. 22.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” the country’s national anthem that traditionally puts singers in the spotlight because of its level of difficulty, was sung by Menzel, a Broadway star most recently best known for her song “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” While the Tony Award-winning actress has famously hit big notes under pressure, including during her prior role onstage in “Rent” and as Elphaba in “Wicked,” her missed note in a New Year’s Eve performance of “Let It Go” went viral.
Sunday night, the singer appeared pleased with her performance as she finished with a wide smile and a fist pump that set the energetic tone for the season’s biggest football game to unfold.