Watch Gladys Knight sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl

Gladys Knight attends the 2018 Carousel of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Gladys Knight attends the 2018 Carousel of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Gladys Knight officially kicked off Super Bowl LIII by belting the national anthem at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the weeks prior to the Super Bowl, Knight faced criticism from some who believe that she and other artists should have refused any offers from the NFL to perform due to the controversy following former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem while he was on the team.

The move was seen by some as showing a lack of support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick - who is now suing the NFL, claiming team owners conspired to keep him out of the league for protesting police brutality against people of color.

But Gladys, who said she's been working for civil rights and singing the anthem since she was a child, isn't listening to the haters.

She said that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, "once we get into that love thing, it all comes together and goes wherever and we end up clapping and having a good time".

"Gladys Knight crushed it", agreed another user.

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The seven-time Grammy Award victor said in January that she was proud to represent the city in front of the millions watching. In response to the controversy surrounding the performance, Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine told Entertainment Tonight, "No one thought about [playing the halftime show] more than I did", he says.

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice", she said in a statement.

She added: "It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone".

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and can not be made so by anyone speaking it", she added.

"Also performing before Sunday's kickoff were Beyoncé protégés, Atlanta natives, and Best New Artist Grammy nominees Chloe x Halle, who sang "America the lovely", accompanied by footage of USA landmarks like Mount Rushmore and the State of Liberty", as part of the National Football League and YouTube's "The Honoring of America" segment.

The legend's voice shined brightly Sunday, as she hit all the right notes ahead of the big game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta.

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