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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 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.
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 Newton, 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.
Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MusicMesfin
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