Women of Color Sang Before Super Bowl. NBC Mixed Them Up

Caption confused Mickey Guyton, Jhene Aiko
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2022 9:02 PM CST
NBC Mixes Up Mickey Guyton, Jhene Aiko at Super Bowl
Country music artist Mickey Guyton performs the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Jhené Aiko performed "America the Beautiful" before Super Bowl LVI Sunday, followed by Mickey Guyton singing the national anthem—but NBC mixed up the two women of color, captioning Guyton as Aiko during the broadcast. Uproar on social media was swift, Yahoo News reports. "All black folks don't look alike," reads one sample Twitter reaction. "NFL diversity inclusion team Slack bout to ring off," reads another. NBC was quick to apologize on Twitter.

Guyton's performance, however, was "flawless," per outlets including Entertainment Tonight. The Washington Post explains how it was "a decade in the making," and charts the 38-year-old's yearslong fight for her breakout in the country music industry, which started in 2011. Country Living says 2022 is Guyton's year, and predicts her national anthem performance will go down as one of the best in Super Bowl history.

"It’s Black History Month, and a Black country singer gets to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Wow,” Guyton told the New York Post in advance of her performance. “This is a huge moment for me. It’s a huge moment for Black people. And I want to represent that in the best possible way that I can.” Aiko was winning applause too, with People calling the R&B singer's performance "soaring." Also before the game, gospel duo Mary Mary performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing," sometimes referred to as the Black national anthem. Watch Guyton's performance here, Aiko's here, and Mary Mary's here. (More Super Bowl LVI stories.)

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