+

America's national anthem has had some of its all-time greatest performances at the Super Bowl.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.


There was Whitney, of course.

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

Beyoncé took a whack at it 12 years ago.

In related news, you are so unbelievably old. Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images.

Even Neil Diamond did a surprisingly solid job that one time.

Neil Diamond used to look like this. Photo by Jack Kay/Getty Images.

But who was first? Like, very first?

That would be this guy:

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images.

Charley Pride.

He sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl VIII in 1974. Before him, at Super Bowls I-VII, the national anthem was performed by marching bands, choirs, and instrumentalists.

Not only was Pride the first solo performer to sing the anthem at the Super Bowl, he was the first black performer to achieve country music superstardom.

As a black man trying to break into one of the whitest segments of the music industry in the 1960s, Pride's career was managed — carefully.

Like many of his contemporaries (and pretty much all of his predecessors), Pride had to put up with more than his fair share of racist BS. Even some of his supporters used nasty epithets when pitching him and his music.

His first couple of recordings didn't even feature a picture of his face.

Ultimately, however, talent won out. Pride topped the country charts 36 times and has sold over 70 million albums.

Hits like "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" and "Is Anybody Going to San Antone" made Pride the biggest-selling artist for his label (RCA) since Elvis.

Pride never liked being defined by his race, despite the long odds he had to overcome to succeed in Nashville.

Pride with Trisha Yearwood, Bill Anderson, and Ricky Skaggs. Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images.

In a 2006 interview, he told The Guardian, "People are so hung up on skin. They're always asking 'Why do you look like us and sound like them?' or 'Why do you look them and sound like us?'"

His rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is notable today for how un-notable it was.

These days, performances of America's national anthem at the big game are known for soaring leaps, dazzling melodic flourishes, and notes in the ionosphere. Pride just sings the damn song.

It's pretty striking.

After making Super Bowl history on Jan. 13, 1974, Pride's career endured. He continues to tour to this day, at age 77.

Watch the rare video of Pride's groundbreaking performance below.

(The national anthem starts around 1:40 — Pride sings "America the Beautiful" first):

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 12.10.15


Imgur user "mollywho" felt her life was falling apart. Not only was she battling clinical depression, but she had her hands full. "I've been juggling a LOT lately," she wrote on Imgur. "Trying to do well at work. Just got married. Couldn't afford a wedding. Family is sparse. Falling out with friends, yaddadyadda." She was also upset about how she treated her new husband. "I've not been the easiest person to deal with. In fact, sometimes I've lost all hope and even taken my anger out on my husband."

When she returned home from a business trip in San Francisco, mentally exhausted, she collapsed on her bed and cried. Then she noticed some writing on the bedroom mirror. It was a list that read:

Keep ReadingShow less

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less