While NFL teams continue to maul each other for a spot in Super Bowl XXXV, the Backstreet Boys can already reserve their plane tickets.
The pop quintet will sing the national anthem before the start of the game, Jan. 28 in Tampa, Fla. Singer Ray Charles will also serenade the crowd — and the enormous TV audience — with “America the Beautiful.” Embellishments to the anthem — which have become standard practice — may reach an all-time high. The piece will be arranged by Rickey Minor, who produced Whitney Houston’s over-the-top, Top 20-charting anthem from Super Bowl XXV — and now he has five voices to work with. The song will be punctuated by the engines of the Air Force Thunderbirds, who will roar over Raymond James Stadium at the conclusion of the anthem.
Other artists who have opened the Super Bowl include Cher, Luther Vandross, Jewel, Vanessa Williams and Faith Hill.