Before the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos could kick off Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, the spotlight was on Lady Gaga as she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Lady Gaga has sold out concerts across the world, won six Grammy Awards and most recently earned a Golden Globe for her performance in American Horror Story: Hotel. Yet, even after doing all of that, she was still humbled by getting to sing the national anthem before Sunday's game, per NFL Network:
Over the years, Gaga has built a reputation for wearing garish outfits. By her standards, her Super Bowl ensemble was a bit toned down—albeit still unique and striking. The NFL on CBS offered a good look:
For ESPN's Bomani Jones, the uniformly red design tied directly into the anthem:
gaga looking like *the* rocket’s red glare/— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) February 7, 2016
It was a wonder Gaga managed to stay on her feet, given her choice of footwear, per SB Nation:
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reported the Levi's Stadium groundskeepers were having some trouble with the playing surface, to the extent they were having to make last-minute repairs following pregame warm-ups. Lady Gaga's shoes were probably those groundskeepers' worst nightmare.
The Sklar Brothers quipped Gaga—high heels and all—could still outrun at least one of the stars in Super Bowl 50:
Lady Gaga, more mobile than Peyton. #SB50— The Sklar Brothers (@SklarBrothers) February 7, 2016
In terms of performance, Whitney Houston set the bar with her rendition ahead of Super Bowl XXV; every single anthem since that year has been measured against hers. Houston's is nearly impossible to top, and Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman argued Lady Gaga might have delivered the second best in Super Bowl history:
1. Whitney— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) February 7, 2016
2. Lady Gaga.
Sports Illustrated provided a replay of the anthem in full:
Prior to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful," the NFL honored the MVPs from the first 49 iterations of the Super Bowl. Among them was New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was vociferously booed by the Levi's Stadium crowd.
Vice Sports' Mike Tunison argued that would make a better song to symbolize the United States:
The new National Anthem is Tom Brady getting booed but Lady Gaga did a good job with that other song.— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) February 7, 2016
Social media was undoubtedly abuzz as a result of Gaga's effort, though PFTCommenter questioned whether tweeting during the national anthem is even appropriate:
Unfolowing everyone who tweets during the natonal anthem #disrepsectful— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) February 7, 2016
As with every Super Bowl, plenty of fans had some money on the line depending on the length of the national anthem. According to Odds Shark, Gaga hit the over:
There was some minor controversy about what constituted the end of her song. RJ Bell of Pregame.com shed some light on the bone of contention:
Here we go: Bovada is paying UNDER on National Anthem, and BetOnline is paying OVER. Discrepancy on validity of Gaga's extra "brave" at end.— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) February 7, 2016
Bovada provided the final say on the matter:
#LadyGaga's National Anthem, from first note to the completion of the first 'brave', is settled officially at 2 minutes and 9 seconds.— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) February 7, 2016
Gaga's eye-catching, attention-grabbing style isn't for everyone. But she's undeniably a great singer, and her interpretation of the national anthem was a great prelude to Super Bowl 50.