R&B stars Jazmine Sullivan and H.E.R.‘s powerful performances at Super Bowl LV were ones for the history books. After Sullivan brought deeply soulful vocals to her “Star-Spangled Banner” duet with country artist Eric Church and H.E.R sang a guitar-laced rendition of “America the Beautiful,” the two RCA-signed recording artists stopped by CBS This Morning to talk about preparing for their major moments at one of the biggest nights in sports.
“It felt crazy. I just couldn’t believe it, honest. I was super nervous but I wanted to bring my flavor to it,” H.E.R. told Gayle King in their video interview. “And to be alongside someone like Jazmine, for two Black women to be up there, was a powerful message. I was just happy to be apart [of it] this year.”
“Was I nervous?” asked Sullivan with a smile. “Uh, yes, definitely. Definitely.”
Jazmine went on to share how the moment of performing with Church was for her and their deliverance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a far from easy song to sing.
“It was definitely amazing. I always say I never thought I would get this opportunity. I was just happy to be there. Performing with Eric was wonderful,” she said. I loved the bridging of both of our sounds and our worlds and coming together. I believe that’s what we did…He’s a country artist, I’m an R&B singer and we wanted to show that we could come together and bring unity within songs. It was all about the soul for me. even if you change certain things, it’s about what you bring to it and what it means to you.”
H.E.R. broke down her decision to perform her rendition of “America the Beautiful” in the way that she did.
“I wanted to do it the way nobody has ever done it before. The plan was to create another version that was totally me and represented so many different versions,” the songwriter explained. “I listened to a lot of different versions and I was like, ‘You know what? I gotta take it to my world, start with a soft intro, bring it to the streets, and then we gotta rock it out…That was the idea: to do something different.
Sullivan and Church’s duet marks the first in a decade, following Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin’s 2006 duet at Super Bowl XL.
Watch the full interview and their powerful performances from Sunday’s Super Bowl night below.