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Charley Pride was a pioneer in many ways, including when it came to performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
As one of only a few black artists in country music, Pride knew that establishing himself in the genre would be a challenge.
It was a challenge that he was more than willing to meet, and his efforts paid off. By the time of his death in 2020, he had more accolades than we could even begin to count. He was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Pride became a barrier-breaking artist in country music, in more ways than one.
Today, the Super Bowl is the largest sporting event of the year, at least in the U.S.
But back in 1974, the big game was still a fairly new concept, as it was only in its eighth year. Pride got the chance to perform the National Anthem prior to the game that year, and he made history in the process.
The reason why Pride’s performance was so noteworthy is because he was the first-ever country singer to perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. But not only that, he was the first-ever solo artist of any genre to sing the National Anthem prior to the Super Bowl.
His powerful and confident performance was met with a thunderous round of cheers and applause, making it clear that he set the bar high for all artists to follow him.
Since then, eight other country singers have performed the National Anthem prior to the Super Bowl. Those artists are Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, The Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Mickey Guyton, and Chris Stapleton.
But as the first country artist to ever do so, Pride’s Super Bowl performance will forever be one of the most memorable.
Tune in to the video below so you can relive the extraordinary moment that Pride changed country music history with the performance of a single song.