SALT LAKE CITY — This time it's soul singer Gladys Knight going back to Georgia, but unlike the man in her famous song, she'll be there for prime time.
"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said in a press release. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year."
Knight was born in Atlanta and rose to fame as the lead singer of Gladys Knight & the Pips, later establishing herself as a popular solo artist. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Knight has two No. 1 Billboard singles, "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "That's What Friends Are For" — which she recorded in 1986 with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick — along with 11 No. 1 R&B singles and six No. 1 R&B albums. In 1996, Knight and the Pips were inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Gladys joins an impressive roster of performers who have performed the national anthem at Super Bowls over the years, including Pink, who sang in 2018, as well as Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, Cher, Neil Diamond and many others in previous years.
Maroon 5 will play the 2019 halftime show.
In addition to Knight's performance, performer and deaf activist Aaron Loggins will sign in American Sign Language both the national anthem and "America The Beautiful" on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf.
The NFL's Inspire Change program, announced in January of this year, aims to highlight "the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the league to create positive change in communities across the country," according to their website.