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Beyonce brings electricity at Super Bowl halftime

By Mesfin Fekadu

AP Music Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Feb 04, 2013

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

Beyonce opened and closed her set Sunday belting out 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 Superdome in New Orleans 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 came days after she admitted she sang to a prerecorded 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. The 31-year-old 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 the singer 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 also showcased Beyonce's all-female band, balancing out the testosterone levels on the football field.

Before the game, Alicia Keys performed a lounge-y, piano-tinged version of the national anthem that her publicist assured was live. The Grammy-winning singer played the piano as she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" in a long red dress with her eyes shut.

She followed Jennifer Hudson, who sang "America the Beautiful" with the 26-member Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus. It was an emotional performance that had some players on the sideline on the verge of tears. Hudson also sang live, her publicist said.

The students wore green ribbons on their shirts in honor of the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage at the school in Newtown, Conn.

The students began the song softly before Hudson, whose mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew were shot to death five years ago, jumped in with her gospel-flavored vocals. She stood still in black and white as the students moved to the left and right, singing background.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
Alicia Key's rendition of the national anthem made me want to call the bartender for another round it was so torch singer, laid back, I'm too cool for school style. I dislike when singers inject that much personalization into the song. The America the Beautifu;l was a bit too obviously designed to tug heart strings and I am no fan of blatant emotional manipulation. On the other hand, the production values of the Beyonce Concert were amazing for a stadium venue; the sound not so much but that's expected in a dome stadium. Good game, some funny commercials, overall good times.
on February 3,2013 | 05:44PM
honupono wrote:
she was awful. just bad.
on February 3,2013 | 05:57PM
serious wrote:
I agree, this is football, I would like to see a marching band perform.
on February 4,2013 | 10:28AM
honupono wrote:
everyone at the party were booing. Probably the worst.
on February 3,2013 | 05:58PM
64hoo wrote:
I thought the other surprise that would join beyonce on stage would be sasha and malia.
on February 3,2013 | 07:40PM
Allenk wrote:
Looks as if the NFL is no longer just playing it safe and putting some sizzle back into their half time show. I noticed that after Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, the acts that were booked for the subsequent half time shows were either older rockers or more family friendly productions. Having Beyonce and Destiny's Child on stage definitely turned up the heat. An entertaining half-time show and great game too!
on February 3,2013 | 09:15PM
Fred01 wrote:
Are you joking?
on February 4,2013 | 09:23AM
ronaldviernes wrote:
no, Fred01, are you joking?
on February 4,2013 | 09:27AM
maya wrote:
Beyonce is pretty, and it was a flashy show. I just did not like any of her songs. I dont think she has very much well known songs, unlike Micheal Jackson and Madonna. I dont think her career is going to amount to much( in the future) if she does not have memorable hit songs.
on February 4,2013 | 04:38AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Thanks, maya, for the laugh. Beyonce's career isn't going to amount to much? She doesn't have very many well-known songs? That's got to be amongst the funniest things I've ever read in the SA comments!
on February 4,2013 | 07:31AM
maya wrote:
Ask anyone on the street to name 4 Beyonce songs. Then ask them to name 4 Madonna, Micheal jackson, Rolling Stones songs. You will find out that most people will not recall more than one Beyonce song, but can recall multiple songs from the other stars I have listed. She does not have a strong field of songs.Plain and simple. The Superbowl shoud be an honor given to singers who have achieved the heights of their music career. Beyonce aint it. Her songs sound alike, are not memorable, and no one will be singing them 10 years from now.
on February 4,2013 | 09:27AM
ronaldviernes wrote:
ditto. buwahahahhahaha
on February 4,2013 | 09:27AM
burymeagain wrote:
Maya ...... as in calender? Reset!
on February 4,2013 | 12:51PM
maya wrote:
I cannot account for your taste in music.I tell tell quality- she has a nice voice , nice body, but her songs stink.
on February 4,2013 | 01:15PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:

Michael Jackson has 13 Grammies. Madonna has 7. Beyonce has 16--and that's not even counting the ones she won as part of Destiny's Child (3 Grammies). Beyonce is only in her thirties so I'm sure she'll continue winning more accolades. She's already been awarded the MIllenium Award by Billboard Magazine.

Oh, and Maya, quit misspelling Michael Jackson's name. It's disrespectful and further undermines your already poorly arrived-upon assertions.

on February 4,2013 | 01:38PM
Kuokoa wrote:
It was probably her terrible show that caused to power outage!
on February 4,2013 | 07:29AM
serious wrote:
Should have happened in the middle of the show!!
on February 4,2013 | 10:30AM
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