Leave it to Sheryl Lee Ralph to kick off the big game with a bang.
The “Abbott Elementary” actress, 66, made Super Bowl history on Sunday when she performed the black National Anthem, singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ahead of kickoff between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.
She wore a fiery red jumpsuit by black-owned fashion brand Harbison Studio along with Nikos Koulis jewelry to sing the hymn, which was originally written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1900.
The color-blocked look featured puffed off-the-shoulder sleeves, decorative gold buttons, a dramatic train and matching opera gloves.
“Iconic moment. Iconic woman. Iconic look. I’m GAGGED. ,” designer Charles Harbison captioned a clip of Ralph singing in his colorful creation on Instagram.
Fans went wild for Ralph’s rendition of the song, with one tweeting, “Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph looks GLORIOUS. And she is giving color to every damn word.”
Another fan made reference to Ralph’s “Dreamgirls” character, writing, “I didn’t know Deena Jones was gonna show up to the Super Bowl tonight! Okay, Sheryl Lee Ralph! #SuperBowl.”
Behind Ralph’s stunning look is her 27-year-old daughter, Ivy Coco Maurice, who has been serving as her mom’s stylist for a series of awards shows of late, including the 2023 Golden Globes last month.
Super Bowl 2023
“It started as something we were going to do just a few times. But every time I had to hit the red carpet, she just kept getting better and better at it,” Ralph told Byrdie earlier this month.
“So, now we work together, and we’ve been able to express who I am through style and lift up other young artists, especially young black designers. I am very happy she is so good at making these connections and giving other people their shots on the red carpet.”
Now that Ralph has her performance behind her, she can enjoy the game and the halftime performance by Rihanna, whom the actress met earlier in the week; she even told People she would be wearing a face full of Fenty Beauty makeup thanks to the Bad Gal.
Perhaps her next gig will be as a model for Rihanna’s beauty line.