By Rami Abou-Sabe

Luke Bryan will be performing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LI this Sunday. Unlike years past where the Georgia native stayed quiet on the big game, he’s throwing his full support behind the Atlanta Falcons, he told Rolling Stone.

“Every year, a lot of people want to ask me, ‘Who are you pulling for?'” he said. “I would always dodge the question and try to stay pretty neutral because I would have fans in both markets. But I gotta step out there and say I’m pulling for my [Atlanta] Falcons this year.”

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Bryan received a bit of flack back in 2012 when he was caught glancing at notes during his performance of the National Anthem at the MLB All-Star game. He’s taken that experience to heart, and hopes to learn from his mistake for the upcoming performance.

“I had just written down ‘streaming’ and ‘gleaming’ because for some reason during rehearsals I kept jumbling those up,” he remembers. “Then I started psyching myself out on it. I thought I did a great job on the Anthem, but the unfortunate thing was people saw me checking those two words. I learned from it, and you know, I’m just gonna walk out there and sing it and go from there.”

In preparation for Sunday’s rendition, the country crooner has been practicing to be sure he knows the all the words this time. “I’ve kind of just been hanging around the house, singing,” he says. “Singing in the stairwell, singing in the shower, singing for my boys. I just tried to get a lot of – I know it sounds like a sports reference – but get a lot of reps in.”

Bryan’s goal for the performance? He wants to “just really really do a great job singing the anthem and try to honor the country as best I can, and honor our veterans.”


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