Sheryl Lee Ralph Performs 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' at Super Bowl — Watch

Who needs cheerleaders when you have Abbott Elementary‘s Sheryl Lee Ralph to get everyone pumped before the big game?

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The recent Emmy winner performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ahead of Super Bowl 57 on Sunday, broadcast live on Fox from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. With lyrics written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, then put to music by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in 1905, this hymn has long held an important place in the Black community.

“It is no coincidence that I will be singing the Black National Anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ at the Super Bowl on the same date it was first publicly performed 123 years ago,” Ralph wrote on Instagram shortly before her big moment. “Happy Black History Month!”

Ralph boasts an extensive list of TV credits, but she’s best known for playing Dee Mitchell on UPN’s Moesha (1996–2001) and Barbara Howard, the character she currently portrays on ABC’s Abbott Elementary. She won her first Primetime Emmy Award for the latter in 2022.

She began her career on Broadway, earning a 1982 Tony Award nomination for originating the role of Deena Jones in the musical Dreamgirls.

Along with Ralph, this year’s roster of Super Bowl pregame entertainers included country crooner Chris Stapleton performing the national anthem (click here to watch) and R&B icon Babyface singing “America the Beautiful” (click here to watch). But no musical moment is more highly anticipated than the halftime show, featuring the one and only Rihanna.

Hit PLAY on the video above to watch Ralph’s Super Bowl performance, then grade it below and drop a comment with your thoughts.

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