Alicia Keys will sing “America the Beautiful” before this year’s Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
It will be just the third time the song is sung at the Super Bowl — previously performed only by Vicki Carr and Ray Charles. Accompanying Keys will be 150 students from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which Charles attended as a youth in 1937.
“I’m very excited to be playing at the Super Bowl for the first time especially because I will be singing a song made famous by an artist I admire, miss and respect, Ray Charles, along with the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind,” said Keys in a statement released Thursday. “I know that this is going to be a very touching and memorable moment.”
The game’s halftime show will feature a performance by Paul McCartney. Last year’s mid-game celebration with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake produced widespread controversy after Jackson’s breast was exposed.
This year’s game, Super Bowl XXXIX, takes place Feb. 6 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville.
Earlier this week, Keys, 23, announced a tour of 34 U.S. cities that will kick off in South Carolina on Feb. 25. The R&B singer and piano player is currently nominated for eight Grammys.