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Who is Andra Day, the singer who performed ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ at the 2024 Super Bowl?

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As one of the four artists performing during Sunday’s preGame show, Andra Day sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” colloquially known as the “Black National Anthem.” In 1919, the hymn was dubbed as such by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, “for its power in voicing a cry for liberation and affirmation for African American people.

Who is Andra Day?

Some have taken a hostile stance toward the idea that Andra Day will perform the song that she is set to sing. Others see it as a significant step forward in the nation’s conversation about race relations. Yet, who is this talented young woman, who has chosen to step into the fray and give voice to a song that represents an entire people?

Born in December, 1984, in Edmonds, Washington, Day moved with her family to Southern California at three years old. It wasn’t long before she began singing and by the age of 5 was not only singing at her church but was taking dance lessons as well. She would later progress into jazz and that’s where things took off. From there she began to use social media as a way of marketing her talents, recording numerous covers in a variety of styles from artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill.

Fast forward to 2015 and the release of her first album, “Cheers to the Fall”, an effort that saw her receive a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Impressively, her single “Rise Up” also received a nomination for Best R&B Performance. It has since gone triple-platinum and has generated more than one billion streams. Yet, it must be said that Day truly came to the attention of audiences with her performance in 2021′s ‘The United States vs Billie Holiday’, a biopic about the legendary artist. It was Day’s acting debut and an effort that saw her nominated for an Oscar, and win two Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture and Original Song in a Motion Picture. Incredibly, Day also composed the soundtrack for the film which went on to receive the Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

Andra Day has faith

Though she is an award-winning actress and singer, Day is aware of how large the opportunity to sing at the Super Bowl is. Speaking last week about Sunday’s big moment, she disclosed that faith is key. “I’m a praying person. I’m a deeply spiritual person. Prayer is huge. ...If I’m here, I’m of the mindset that I’m called to be here,” she said when asked how she feels about the big moment in front of millions. “It’s a huge moment,” she said. “I don’t want to just do well, but I really want people to encounter the spirit.”

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