Beyoncé fires up Super Bowl halftime show
04 February 2013, 11:51
New Orleans - If naysayers still doubted Beyoncé's singing 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.
Beyoncé opened and closed her set 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 on stage 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 as she and her background dancers did the singer's signature booty-shaking dance. Beyoncé 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.
Elaborate dance moves
Beyoncé 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. Some even went as far to hail it "the best in years".
Beyoncé 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 - and that's when the performance hit its high note.
"Thank you for this moment," she told the crowd. "God bless y'all."
Her background singers helped her out as she danced around the stage throughout most of her performance. There was a backing track to help fill in when Beyoncé 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.
Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson also perform
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). The song featured Beyoncé's skilled choreography, as did End of Time and Baby Boy, which also showcased Beyoncé's all-female band, balancing out the testosterone levels on the football field.
Before the game, Alicia Keys performed a 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 honour of the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed in a shooting rampage at the school in Newton, Connecticut last year.