SUPER BOWL

Beyonce brings electricity at Super Bowl halftime

2013-02-03T21:30:00Z 2013-02-13T21:26:49Z Beyonce brings electricity at Super Bowl halftimeThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 03, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

Lights out? Blame Beyonce's electrifying performance.

If naysayers still doubted Beyonce's singing's talents — even after her national anthem performance this week at a press conference — the singer proved she is an exceptional performer at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Beyonce opened and closed the performance belting songs, and in between she danced hard and heavy — and better than most contemporary pop stars.

She set a serious tone as she emerged onstage in all black, singing lines from her R&B hit "Love on Top." The stage was dark as fire and lights burst from the sides. Then she went into her hit "Crazy In Love," bringing some feminine spirit to the Super Dome as she and her background dancers did the singer's signature booty-shaking dance. Beyonce ripped off part of her shirt and skirt. She even blew a kiss. She was ready to rock, and she did so like a pro.

Her confidence — and voice — grew as she worked the stage with and without her Destiny's Child band mates during her 13-minute set, which comes days after she admitted she sang to a pre-recorded track at President Barack Obama's inauguration less than two weeks ago.

Beyonce proved not only that she can sing, but that she can also entertain on a stage as big as the Super Bowl's. She was far better than Madonna, who sang to a backing track last year, and miles ahead of the Black Eyed Peas' disastrous set in 2011.

Beyonce was best when she finished her set with "Halo." She asked the crowd to put their hands toward her as she sang the slow groove on bended knee — and that's when she the performance hit its high note.

"Thank you for this moment," she told the crowd. "God bless y'all."

Her background singers helped out as Beyonce danced around the stage throughout most of her performance. There was a backing track to help fill in when Beyonce wasn't singing — and there were long stretches when she let it play as she performed elaborate dance moves.

She had a swarm of background dancers and band members spread throughout the stage, along with videotaped images of herself dancing that may have unintentionally played on the live-or-taped question. And the crowd got bigger when she was joined by her Destiny's Child band mates.

Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams popped up from below the stage to sing "Bootylicious." They were in similar outfits, singing and dancing closely as they harmonized. But Rowland and Williams were barely heard when the group sang "Independent Woman," as their voices faded into the background.

They also joined in for some of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," where Beyonce's voice grew stronger. That song featured Beyonce's skilled choreography, as did "End of Time" and "Baby Boy," which featured Beyonce's all-female band, balancing out the testosterone levels on the football field.

Sandy Hook choir, Hudson delight Super Bowl crowd: As 26 children in white polo shirts excitedly walked to center of the Superdome field and prepared to sing, a packed Super Bowl crowd revved up by a day of partying in the Big Easy fell silent.

The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School, nearly two months removed from a deadly shooting rampage, joined Jennifer Hudson to deliver a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful" on Sunday that had some players on the sideline and countless fans in the stands on the verge of tears.

Judging by the responses on social media, the performance appeared destined to become one of the most poignant memories of the Super Bowl, regardless of what played out in the game.

Gerald Rokoff, standing near a portal in the Superdome's upper deck, turned and said, "Beyond beautiful," when the children finished singing.

Numerous viewers made references on social media to tearing up or getting goose bumps.

Sandy Hook is the school in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed by a gunman on Dec. 14. The chorus was comprised of third- and fourth-graders.

The children wore green ribbons on their white shirts, which seemed to symbolize the innocence of youth, and stood in two rows of 13 on the NFL's red, white and blue shield logo for the performance. Many smiled excitedly as they sang the first verse. Then Hudson, wearing a black blouse and long, white skirt, fronted them for a second verse that showcased her sterling voice.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh watched with his left arm around daughter, Alison, and his right hand over his heart.

Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody could be seen on the stadium's video board tilting his head back, appearing to hold back tears.

Ali's daughter: The Greatest is OK, watching game: Muhammad Ali's daughter knocked down rumors of her father being near death Sunday, saying he was at home watching the Super Bowl.

May May Ali said she talked to her father Sunday morning on the phone and he was fine. She said he was watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.

"He's fine, in fact he was talking well this morning," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "These rumors pop up every once in a while but there's nothing to them."

The rumors were started by a report in a British tabloid quoting Ali's brother, Rahman, as saying the former heavyweight champion was near death. Rahman, though, said he hadn't seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.

The report was widely repeated on the Internet, drawing expressions of condolences on Twitter and Facebook.

Ali suffers from Parkinson's disease. He celebrated his 71st birthday last month.

Baltimore QB Joe Flacco wins Super Bowl MVP award: Capping a pretty perfect postseason, Joe Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns Sunday to earn Super Bowl MVP honors for leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Flacco became only the sixth quarterback in 47 Super Bowls to throw for three scores in a first half, connecting with Anquan Boldin for 13 yards, Dennis Pitta for 1, and Jacoby Jones for 56.

And the unassuming guy who played his college football at Delaware finished Baltimore's four-game run to the title with 11 TD passes and zero interceptions. It was an impressive run that included road victories against two of the game's best QBs, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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