The internet is abuzz after country star Chris Stapleton delivered a soulful, bluesy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to Super Bowl LVII.
Chris Stapleton became the 9th country artist in the Super Bowl’s 57-year history to have the honor of kicking off the big game with the national anthem. The “Fire Away” singer stood alone on the turf dressed in black, without his signature cowboy hat as he accompanied himself on guitar. His simple, soulful rendition of the anthem brought players, coaches and spectators to tears.
— Kristen Rodgers (@KristenERodgers) February 12, 2023
Stapleton’s performance drew praise from country fans and those who had never heard of him before, with many calling his rendition the best since Whitney Houston sang it in 1991.
1. Whitney Houston
2. Chris Stapleton
No others qualify
— BoomSoon 🏴☠️ (@BoomOkieSoon) February 12, 2023
While being asked to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl is considered a great honor, with that honor comes a great deal of pressure as “The Star-Spangled Banner” is notoriously hard to sing. In addition, more than 200 million people watch football’s biggest game annually, giving performers one of the largest platforms in the entertainment industry.
So, how much did Chris Stapleton get paid to sing at the Super Bowl?
Believe it or not, artists tapped to sing the national anthem don’t earn a dime, according to Parade. The Super Bowl covers all expenses involved in the artist performing, such as production costs, travel and lodging expenses, etc. But, national anthem and halftime show performers don’t take home a paycheck.
NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter confirmed that report telling Forbes in 2016, “We do not pay the artists. We cover expenses and production costs.”
A few years later, Forbes reported on the pay scale of Super Bowl performers again, but this time stated that they are paid “union scale.” One outlet wrote that union scale is the equivalent of a mere few hundred dollars at best.
Despite the lack of a big paycheck from the NFL, the day is still considered to be a huge payday for the artists as it is a huge promotional opportunity. The artists generally see a surge in song, album and concert ticket sales…something that will pay off in a big way for the musicians in the long run.
If the response to Chris Stapleton’s national anthem performance is any indication, the singer can expect all of the above benefits and more.
Hear Chris Stapleton sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the video below.