By David Ng
9:01 AM PST, February 3, 2014
The Seattle Seahawks took home the Super Bowl championship on Sunday, roundly beating the Denver Broncos, 43-8. Another big winner for the evening was operatic soprano Renée Fleming, whose near flawless rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" provided a rousing start to pro football's biggest night.
Fleming, wearing a black dress with a white wrap, sang the national anthem to a recording provided by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, with a military chorus.
Here's a video of Fleming performing the national anthem. The live announcer introduced Fleming as a "Grammy Award winner and soprano superstar" before she began the performance at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.
Her concluding high note was followed by an impressive fly-over of military helicopters past the stadium.
"Never heard it sung any better," remarked Fox sportscaster Joe Buck.
Fleming was preceded by Queen Latifah, who sang "America the Beautiful" with the New Jersey Youth Choir.
Fleming is the first opera singer to perform the national anthem at a Super Bowl game, an event where the song is typically performed by pop stars. Alicia Keys sang it last year, and other recent performers have included Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson.
Fleming's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" wasn't the only performance of the song on Super Bowl night. A MetLife commercial that aired during the telecast featured the Peanuts comics character Schroeder playing the anthem on his piano, joined by pals Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and others.
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