USMagazine, Sunday, February 3, 2013, 4:00pm (PST)
Alicia Keys is indeed a girl on fire. Taking center stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, the "Brand New Me" singer delivered a national anthem performance unlike any other.
The 32-year-old Grammy winner looked stunning in a red, floor-length, fishtail gown that showed off her slim physique. But it wasn't her dress style that had everyone talking -- it was her musical style. Accompanying herself on a stately silver piano, the star performed a bluesy, one-of-a-kind version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
"I'm really excited about it, I can't even lie," she told MSN Entertainment before the big event. "I have to rehearse it totally as if it's a brand new song, because it is actually a brand new song in the style that I'll deliver it. I'm rehearsing like a maniac."
Indeed, in the days leading up to the game, Keys was in full pre-show prep mode. "The energy is so amazing! You can feel it all over! I feel excited in a way I'm not sure I ever have!" she tweeted on Feb. 2. "Can't wait!!"
The next day, game day, she shared a picture of herself warming up. "Getting ready to sing my heart out for America! The city is electric!" she captioned the photo, in which she is seen standing on a balcony in a white robe, gazing out at the Big Easy. Another snapshot, posted less than an hour before kickoff, shows the star posing in front of her dressing room mirror. "Is this football appropriate?" she wrote of her glamorous gown. "Heels are my version of cleats!"
Tell Us: What did you think of Alicia's national anthem?