ATLANTA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Gladys Knight shined brightly with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl 53 in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

The “Empress of Soul” hit all the right notes ahead of the big game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.

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Gladys Knight sings the National Anthem prior to kickoff at Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Noise and controversy surrounded the 74-year-old’s performance since some have boycotted the NFL over treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback who protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. While some performers declined participation in the Super Bowl, Knight said she hoped her anthem would unite people.

At the end of her performance, the Air Force Thunderbirds soared above Mercedes-Benz Stadium to cap off the pregame show.

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Before Knight performed, the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle harmonized like a veteran girl group as they sang “America the Beautiful.”

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(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)