The NFL confirmed Tuesday that Ralph will be included in the pregame lineup for the 2023 Super Bowl, which takes place Feb. 12. The “Abbott Elementary” star is set to perform the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before kickoff.
Ralph expressed her excitement for the milestone gig on Instagram. “Come on now,” she wrote. “Don’t you ever give up on you baby!”
She shared similar sentiments on Twitter, writing: “Someone wake me up from this dream!”
A number of Ralph’s famous pals, including Oprah Winfrey and “Abbott Elementary” creator and co-star Quinta Brunson, congratulated the actor on the news.
“Yes lift them!!! Sheryl Lee Ralph in the buildinggggg,” actor Tanika Ray wrote on Instagram. “May we have a dose of SLR everywhere!!!!!!”
Singer LaTavia Roberson urged Ralph to “continue to INSPIRE LITTLE BLACK GIRLS LIKE MYSELF.”
Ralph has been enjoying a career resurgence as of late thanks to her portrayal of kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard on ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” for which she received an Emmy Award last year.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, left, with "Dreamgirls" co-stars Deborah Burrell and Loretta Devine in 1981.
Her appearance at the Super Bowl will be an opportunity for the world to recognize her less-heralded musical prowess. Prior to her television fame, the actor received acclaim ― and a Tony nomination ― for originating the role of Deena Jones in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” in 1981.
The 2023 Super Bowl, which will take place in Glendale, Arizona, is shaping up to be a night of must-see TV for music fans as well as sports enthusiasts.
In addition to Ralph’s performance, viewers can expect to hear Chris Stapleton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds singing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” respectively. And megastar (and Oscar nominee) Rihanna is set to kick off her hotly anticipated musical comeback as the evening’s halftime show performer.