Super Bowl XLVII began with a soulful and faithful rendition of the nation's anthem by R&B superstar Alicia Keys.
The 32-year-old singer belted out what might be one of the better versions we have heard in some time.
It was made all the more special, as Keys performed right after Jennifer Hudson joined the Sandy Hook Elementary chorus for a beautiful and emotional rendition of "America the Beautiful."
Keys kept the tone and tenor of the day going with her powerful anthem, which also included an image of soldiers from Camp Courage.
It was truly a spectacle, the kind perfectly fit for the Super Bowl.
National Anthem Duration
The gamblers were no doubt looking at handy stopwatches to figure out whether they made money in one of the early and more ridiculous prop bets out there.
About an hour before game time, the line at Bovada.lv was set at two minutes and 10 seconds. The over was set at plus-140, and the under was at minus-180.
Here is Deadspin's Timothy Burke with your unofficial time.
Timothy Burke @bubbaprog
It's 2:26 if your book uses the END of the first brave.2013-2-3 23:27:31
Here is "The Star-Spangled Banner" as sung by Alicia Keys from New Orleans.
As expected, Keys was on the piano to deliver a very long and drawn-out national anthem, but one that never meandered into self-indulgence.
Matt King @TheRealMattKing
"Nope, not long enough." -Alicia Keys2013-2-3 23:24:49
Keys' rendition was beautiful, but if we are going to grade her against anyone, it would have to be the legendary Whitney Houston and her performance at Super Bowl XXV.
If we consider Houston's remarkable and emotional performance the pinnacle of the patriotic song, then this one has to come just below that.
Overall, the viewers were left with a beautiful way to start what should be an unforgettable Super Bowl.
Please leave your thoughts on Keys' national anthem in the comments section below.
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