Luke Bryan Finally Explains His Infamous National Anthem Blunder

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As football fans get themselves pumped up for the Super Bowl on Sunday (February 5), country music fans are looking forward to the performance of the National Anthem. That’s because this year, Luke Bryan has been selected to sing our country’s anthem before the big game.

Bryan is the sixth country singer to ever perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Charley Pride, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, and Carrie Underwood were the past performers to do so.

Each country artist has taken a different approach to the National Anthem, and Bryan hopes to leave his own mark on the song this year. During an interview with Bobby Bones on Thursday morning (February 2), he shared his plans to perform the song a cappella.

Since this is such a big gig, Bryan is going to a great deal of effort to prepare for his performance. He explained how he’s preparing during a phone interview with the Ty, Kelly, & Chuck radio show:

I’ve just been singing it a lot…I fly out [to Houston] a couple of days early so I get to rehearse it a lot. I’m going to get up there and get the microphone in hand and just run a couple of different options and see how I want it. And then there’s always an element to where you want to feed off the moment and the pageantry of where I’m at.”

There’s a lot of pressure on Bryan concerning this performance, as is the case for anyone who ever performs the National Anthem. But considering one of his past experiences singing the National Anthem, there’s even more pressure on him than most artists have to deal with.

In 2012, Bryan was selected to perform the National Anthem at the MLB All-Star Game. While there was nothing wrong with his performance itself, it was still the subject of heavy criticism.

Viewers noticed Bryan glance down during his performance, and eventually discovered that he had some notes written on his hand. He came under fire for not knowing the words to the song, and has been defending the performance ever since.

Now that he’s preparing to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, that performance is being brought back up. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Bryan explained the reason he had the notes written down:

I had just written down ‘streaming’ and ‘gleaming’ because for some reason during rehearsals I kept jumbling those up. Then I started psyching myself out on it. I thought I did a great job on the Anthem, but the unfortunate thing was people saw me checking those two words. I learned from it, and you know, I’m just gonna walk out there and sing it and go from there.

You can catch Bryan’s infamous National Anthem performance below.

Five years later, Bryan has learned from his experiences and feels confident about performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. His practice schedule makes it clear how much he cares about getting it right!