Country singer Luke Bryan will make his Super Bowl debut when he sings the national anthem before the game on Feb. 5.
The “Drunk on You” singer is the first man to perform the anthem at the Super Bowl since Billy Joel sang it in 2007, according to A.V. Club.
He joins a vaunted list of Super Bowl anthem performers: Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson and Diana Ross among them.
Named country music’s entertainer of the year multiple times, “Bryan is certainly no stranger to commanding a stadium-sized audience,” notes Rolling Stone.
“Over the years, he’s sold out tour stops at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Detroit’s Ford Field and Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, among others.”
He’s performed the anthem before at least one other giant sporting event, which he would probably prefer to write off.
In July 2012 he sang the anthem before MLB’s All-Star game in Kansas City. As he sang, people in the stadium and watching on TV noticed him looking at his hand where he had written some of the lyrics.
Social media ripped him.
“Luke Bryan apparently needed to go all 8th grade crib sheet to sing the anthem! #Comeonman.” tweeted one person.
Bryan apologized the next day on Twitter.
“I had a few keys words written down to insure myself that I wouldn’t mess up. I just wanted to do my best. I promise it was from the heart,” he wrote.
“If I offended anyone with my approach I sincerely apologize. Anytime I sing the anthem it is an honor and my heart beats out of my chest.”
Anthem screw-ups on TV’s most-watched program are amplified tenfold. In 2011 Christina Aguilera apologized for her performance after muffing up one line, saying she got “caught up in the moment.”
“I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through,” she said in her apology.
Lady Gaga, who performed a flawless and stirring anthem at last year’s game, will headline this year’s halftime show at Houston’s NRG Stadium.