NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the finest rhythm and blues
singers, MARY J. BLIGE, will combine with pop/salsa singing sensation
MARC ANTHONY, to sing "America the Beautiful" prior to Super Bowl XXXVI at the
Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Sunday, Feb. 3, the NFL announced today.
Blige and Anthony will perform as part of the pre-game show and prior to
Mariah Carey's rendition of the national anthem prior to Super Bowl XXXVI to
be televised by FOX before 130 million viewers in the United States and
800 million viewers worldwide.
Rickey Minor, the man behind the success of Whitney Houston's rendition of
the national anthem, will produce the music for the pre-game show and
British-born Jeremy Lubbock will arrange "America the Beautiful."
The Boston Pops, hailed as "America's Orchestra," will perform this
classic and the duet of Blige and Anthony will be backed up by
"America's Heroes Chorus," made up of representatives from police, fire,
postal and all five branches of the military from the Louisiana area.
Blige returns to the center stage after performing as a special E*TRADE
Super Bowl XXXV Halftime Show guest with Britney Spears and Nellie with
headliners Aerosmith and *NSYNC last year in Tampa.
This marks the third time "America the Beautiful" has been performed at
the Super Bowl. Vickie Carr sang the song instead of the national anthem at
Super Bowl XI and one of the greatest soul singers, Ray Charles, sang it prior
to the Backstreet Boys rendition of the national anthem at last year's
The NFL previously announced that U2 will perform during the E*TRADE
Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show, while Mariah Carey will sing the
National Anthem with the Boston Pops. Other pre-game performers will be
announced in the next few weeks.
Blige is about to embark on her No More Drama Tour this month. Her fourth
album, "Mary," in 1999 earned three Grammy nominations as well as double
platinum status. Her latest and fifth album is "No More Drama," a collection
of trendy hip-hop and club tracks. Blige has given her charitable time to
anti-drug and AIDS efforts. She also is embarking on an acting career.
Anthony, hailed as the reigning king of salsa, has sold more records than
any salsa singer in the world. Having earned 10 gold and platinum
certifications, Anthony's most popular hit, "I Need to Know," earned him a
1999 Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance as well as a
Latin Grammy for Song of the Year. He won the Grammy for Best Latin/Tropical
Performance in 1998. Anthony, who has appeared on Broadway and the silver
screen, just had his latest album, "Libre" certified Gold. His second
English-language pop album, "Mended" will be released in April.
Minor produced the biggest selling version of "The Star Spangled Banner"
ever in Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl performance in Tampa. The Monroe,
Louisiana born musician has played behind the Four Tops, Gladys Knight,
Lou Rawls and Al Jarreau and he has worked with Al Green, Shirley Caesar,
CeCe Winans, Smokey Robinson, Brandy, Salt-N-Pepa, Paula Abdul and
Lubbock's arranging work has been utilized by the best in the music
business in Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Madonna,
Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Elton John, Jewel and P Diddy to name
For further information, please contact: Brian McCarthy of the
National Football League, +1-212-450-2069; or Steve Brener of Brener Zwikel
Associates, +1-818-344-6195, for the National Football League; or Lori Berk of
MCA, +1-212-841-8115, for Mary J. Blige; or Jennifer Nieman, +1-212-396-0963,
for Marc Anthony.
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SOURCE National Football League