Eric Church Is a Total Jazmine Sullivan Stan Now
Now, he can't get enough.
"She may be the best singer I have [laughs] — I was floored," Church tells Apple Music Country's Today’s Country Radio With Kelleigh Bannen. "The best thing about this — no matter what happens, because that's a nervy thing that we got to do — I'm a fan."
Church hadn't yet met Sullivan when he spoke to fellow artist Bannen, but he'd already "listened to everything she did." She's a Grammy-nominated, BET Award-winning R&B star, and Church and Bannen fawn over her vocal prowess, specifically on her recently released EP, Heaux Tales.
In fact, it was Sullivan's voice that helped convince Church to take the Super Bowl gig. He never saw himself as a national anthem singer — "It's so hard," he says of the song, adding, "I'm a stylist, not a vocalist" — and his first reaction was a hard pass.
But then, he heard the proposed arrangement of the song, put together by Emmy-nominated producer Adam Blackstone, who hand-picked both Church and Sullivan for the gig.
"I thought, 'That's cool; that sounds like me,' and then I heard her, and I'm not missing a chance to sing with her," Church remembers deciding. "And that was it. Once I heard her voice, I said, 'Okay, I'm in.'"
Church and Sullivan join halftime performer the Weeknd and Grammy winner H.E.R., who will sing "America the Beautiful," in the performance lineup for Super Bowl LV. Deaf rapper Warren "WAWA" Snipe will accompany both H.E.R. and Church and Sullivan to perform "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" in American Sign Language.
Church — who recently announced his next album, a triple-disc project titled Heart & Soul — is the first country artist since Luke Bryan to perform at the Super Bowl. Bryan sang the national anthem for the big NFL event in 2017.
Super Bowl LV is set to air live from Tampa, Fla.'s Raymond James Stadium on Sunday (Feb. 7) on CBS. A kick-off show will begin at 6PM ET, with the game itself, between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, kicking off at 6:30PM ET.
These Country Artists Have All Performed at the Super Bowl, Too: