Pink battled through the flu to deliver a rousing rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Shortly after Pink made her way to the field in a white and grey ensemble, thousands of people at the U.S. Bank Stadium rose to their feet to see the singer provide one of the game’s most high-profile and patriotic moments. Forgoing her usual trapeze antics for a poised and powerful performance, the Philadelphia native and Eagles fan stood at a microphone and belted the challenging song as millions of people across the world watched live.
“Trying to practice the flu away. I’ve been waiting to sing this song since 1991 when I saw my idol, Whitney Houston, own this song,” Pink wrote in part on Instagram Saturday. “And now, my chance has finally come.”
She admitted that her dream was “slowly becoming a sort of nightmare,” but added, “I promise I will do my best, as I always do.”
Earlier in the pre-game show, Leslie Odom Jr. sang “America the Beautiful.” More musical moments will come during the halftime show, when headliner Justin Timberlake will steal the spotlight from the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
The “Star-Spangled Banner” has turned into a point of controversy for the NFL over the last two seasons, sparked by quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel in protest of the country’s treatment of black Americans. After President Donald Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence to an Indianapolis Colts game to stage a walkout on a Kaepernick-supported anthem protest in October, Pink tweeted, “@POTUS You are doing a terrible job. Worse than every other job you’ve done terrible at. Do you seriously have time to worry about the NFL?”