Andra Day typically grapples with pre-show jitters, particularly when performing in front of her peers. However, the Grammy-winning artist relies on prayer to ease her nerves, a practice she’ll undoubtedly employ before taking the Super Bowl stage as a pregame performer.
Scheduled to perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” prior to the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Day finds solace in her spiritual beliefs.
“I’m a praying person. I’m a deeply spiritual person. Prayer is huge,” shared the soulful singer in an interview with The Associated Press. Joining Day in the pregame lineup are fellow musicians Reba McEntire, set to sing the national anthem, and Post Malone, who will perform “America the Beautiful.” Additionally, Usher is slated as the featured halftime performer.
Day’s inclusion in the Super Bowl festivities is fitting. Recently, she received a standing ovation for her performance at the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective event in Los Angeles.
Shortly thereafter, she graced the stage at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala, delivering powerful renditions of “That’s What Friends Are For” and “What the World Needs Now is Love” alongside icons such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Dionne Warwick.
Reflecting on her upcoming performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn revered within the African American community, Day expressed her excitement and a sense of responsibility. “It’s a huge moment,” she remarked. “I don’t want to just do well, but I really want people to encounter the spirit.”
Day’s rise to prominence began with her breakthrough single “Rise Up,” for which she earned both a Grammy and a Golden Globe. Her talents were further showcased in the film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” earning her critical acclaim and accolades.
Having starred in prominent films, Day is now refocusing on her music career. Amidst filming projects, she has been recording music and is nearing the release of her second solo album, “Cassandra,” expected in the spring. This album marks her return to the music scene since her acclaimed 2015 debut, “Cheers to the Fall,” which garnered a Grammy nomination alongside her hit single “Rise Up.”
With “Cassandra,” Day aims to delve into themes of relationships and her spiritual journey. She intends to candidly explore moments of happiness and personal growth, alongside reflections on past mistakes. Through her music, Day views these experiences as a form of therapeutic expression.
“I wanted to show up as myself,” she explained. “Not necessarily do the right thing or say the right thing. I just want to show the iterations of me.”
Already, Day has unveiled two singles from the upcoming album, “Where Do We Go” and “Probably,” both delving into the complexities of navigating a breakup. As she prepares to share more of her musical journey with “Cassandra,” Day approaches this project with a sense of renewal and evolution.
“It feels like a genesis,” she shared. “It feels like a new beginning. I told my team that I wanted to approach this like a brand new artist as if I’ve never done this before. It genuinely feels like that. My voice, my awareness of myself, and how I approach the music. The sound is different.”