Andra Day prays through nervousness ahead of Super Bowl performance


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Andra Day normally deals with nervousness before any big show — especially in front of her peers. But the Grammy winner eventually leans on prayer to settle her anxiety.

On Sunday, Day will certainly use the same approach before she graces the Super Bowl stage as a pregame performer. She’s set to perform “ Lift Every Voice and Sing ” ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs matchup against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.

“I’m a praying person. I’m a deeply spiritual person. Prayer is huge,” the soul singer told The Associated Press Thursday afternoon. Along with Day’s performance, other pregame performers include country music star Reba McEntire who will sing the national anthem, while Post Malone will perform “America the Beautiful.” Usher is the featured halftime performer.

Day certainly belongs. Last week, she earned a standing ovation after her performance at the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective event in Los Angeles. A couple days later at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala, she performed “That’s What Friends Are For” and “What the World Needs Now is Love” onstage with Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Keyshia Cole and Frederic Yonnet.

“If I’m here, I’m of the mindset that I’m called to be here,” said Day, who’s excited about hitting the Super Bowl stage in front of millions to perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a popular hymn known within the African American community.

“It’s a huge moment,” she said. “I don’t want to just do well, but I really want people to encounter the spirit.”

Day broke through with her standout single “Rise Up.” She eventually won a Grammy and Golden Globe for her acting and musical work on the film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”

After starring in the “Billie Holiday” and “The Deliverance” films, Day has re-focused her attention to making her own music. She recorded music while filming those projects and she’s almost ready to reveal her second solo album “Cassandra,” which is expected to release in the spring.

It’ll be Day’s first album since her 2015 debut “Cheers to the Fall,” which earned a Grammy nomination along with “ Rise Up.”

On her upcoming album, Day wants to explore relationships and her spiritual walk with God. She’ll also look to touch on her happiness and her not-so proud moments stemmed from selfish decisions.

Day said she wrote and sang through those experiences using it as her therapy.

“I wanted to show up as myself,” she said. “Not necessarily do the right thing or say the right thing. I just want to show the iterations of me.”

Day has already dropped two singles: “Where Do We Go” and “Probably,” which explore the stories behind a breakup in a relationship. She said her upcoming project makes her feel like a new artist.

“It feels like a genesis,” she said. “It feels like a new beginning. I told my team that I want 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.”


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