Reba McEntire Is ‘Honored Beyond Words’ to Sing at the Super Bowl

Reba McEntire has had plenty of accolades over the years, but few come close to what will happen on Sunday, February 11, at Super Bowl 58, when she  sings the national anthem before the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49es.

“I am honored beyond words to be chosen to get to sing it,” McEntire tells ABC. “It means that I get to sing a very special song for all Americans, people all around the world who have really worked so hard for our freedom and to give us peace.”

“It’s not about me,” she added. “I’m the representation of this song, and I’m just honored to get to sing it.”

McEntire sang as part of The Singing McEntires, before launching her solo career after she was discovered singing the national anthem at a rodeo event. Still, the 68-year-old is making sure she is performing the song to the best of her ability, by practicing as much as possible.

“I prepare by being prepared,” McEntire says. “I’ve been singing the national anthem in the shower, when we get in the car. Rex [Linn], my boyfriend, is a huge football fan, played all sports when he was going to school. And so he’ll say, ‘OK, sing it one more time.’ I said, ‘I think I know the words real good right now so I’m all right.'”

It was Linn who convinced McEntire to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, after her manager called her with the invitation.

“He said that they wanted me to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, and I said ‘Oh my gosh. Well, let me think about that,’” McEntire recalled to CBS News. “And Rex Linn, my boyfriend, who is a huge football fan, he said, ‘Yes, she’ll do it. Absolutely.’ So that’s where we’re at.”

McEntire has never sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl before, but she is a diehard football fan.

“I’ve always liked football, even in high school,” McEntire tells UMG Nashville. “As the Singing McEntires and being a part of the Kiowa High School Cowboy Band in Kiowa, Oklahoma where I went to school for 12 years, we were part of the half-time entertainment there at the school. We’d pull the trailer out and we’d play at half-time for our football games.”

It’s fitting that Linn talked her into singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at football’s biggest game of the year, since he also loves football, especially college football.

“My boyfriend, Rex Linn, absolutely loves college football,” McEntire reveals. “I really get into that, and I cheer for the Longhorns in Austin, Texas. And now getting to sing at the Super Bowl, I think Rex was more excited than I was, if that’s at all possible. I’m a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, so I will be cheering them on at the Super Bowl.”

For the Country Music Hall of Fame member, few things will ever top singing the national anthem at Super Bowl 58, five decades after she was first discovered by singing that song.

“It’s absolutely amazing coming full circle, 50 years after being discovered by Red Steagall me singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City,” McEntire gushes. “That was in 1974. Little did I know, I had no idea 50 years I’d be singing (laughs) the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl. Oh my gosh, I don’t even have the imagination to say that I would be doing something like this. I’m absolutely thrilled to pieces that they asked me.”

Super Bowl 58 will air on CBS on Sunday, February 11, from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Post Malone will sing “America The Beautiful,” and Andra Day will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”