The Reason Jazmine Sullivan Fans Are Split Over Her Super Bowl Performance

When Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church were announced as the "The Star-Spangled Banner" performers for the 2021 Super Bowl, it was an unexpected pairing. She's an R&B singer. He's a country crooner. It was a match that no one really saw coming and the performance had people talking. The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay praised "whoever thought to put Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan together." Someone else declared, "Hands up for Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church on that Star Spangled banner — even the sign language dude killed it!" A different Twitter user said the performance "was absolutely amazing." Someone encouraged Church and Sullivan "to drop an EP" together.

Another person related the collaboration to the country at large, tweeting, "I wasn't sure what to expect from Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan singing the national anthem as a duet, but I actually liked it. At a time when the nation just barely survived an insurrection, the symbolic message of a white country singer and a Black R&B singer kinda worked." However, the performance was not praised across the board. In fact, plenty of Sullivan's fans were upset about the situation.

Jazmine Sullivan's fans wanted more on her behalf

There's no doubt that Jazmine Sullivan did her thing when she belted out the national anthem alongside Eric Church, but some of her supporters were not pleased with the circumstances. One fan tweeted, "jazmine doesn't need duets." Another person echoed those sentiments, tweeting, "Jazmine Sullivan should have done this by herself." A very enthusiastic Twitter user held down the caps lock key to proclaim, "I DONT LIKE THAT JAZMINE SULLIVAN HAS TO SHARE HER MOMENT!!!!" In another tweet, she elaborated, "Jazmine Sullivan didn't get to take her time and caress the anthem properly! Eric rushed her! We see right thru this robbery YALL are framing as 'unity' ! SHE WAS ROBBED AND I DONT LIKE YALL!!!! @NFL."

Another person questioned the timing of the collaboration, tweeting, "Jazmine Sullivan really had to share her moment.... with a white man.... during black history month..... ON THIS LAND!" Fellow musician Saweetie took issue with the camera angles and close-up shots, complaining, "my gurl jazmine needed more facetime but ok." Another person theorized, "If Jazmine Sullivan would've been alone this would've went crazy."

Of course, it's not possible to please everyone, which is more apparent than ever thanks to social media. Perhaps, Sullivan herself will open up about how she felt sharing the stage once she has time to reflect post-Super Bowl. 

Here's how Jazmine paid homage to Black History Month

Some fans were not pleased that Jazmine Sullivan shared the stage with Eric Church during Black History Month, but there was one important moment during the duet that people did not see. As of this writing, the Super Bowl has been held at Raymond James Stadium five times, and in 1991, iconic singer Whitney Houston took to the field wearing a red and blue tracksuit to perform the National Anthem, according to The Wrap. Then at the height of her career, Houston won over hearts everywhere with her stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and it's a moment Sullivan decided to immortalize during her own showing on the field.

In honor of the late star, as well as Black entertainers everywhere, Sullivan appeared at a dress rehearsal in a white sweatsuit that harkened back to Houston's attire. But, because the Super Bowl dress code has changed a lot in the last 30 years, Sullivan opted not to rock the dressed-down threads for her actual performance. Instead, she paid public tribute to Houston in another way: via her glam Area headpiece that looked similar to the one the "I Will Always Love You" singer wore in the 1992 film The Bodyguard (via Popsugar). Sullivan may not have nabbed a solo performance, but she certainly made sure to inject plenty of meaning and history into her big moment.

Jazmine Sullivan gained a new fan in Eric Church

Singing the National Anthem on Super Bowl Sunday tends to draw attention, and not only did Jazmine Sullivan trend on Twitter ahead of the big game, but she also gained one very influential new fan. Before being asked to perform with Sullivan, her co-star Eric Church was candid about the fact that he had not listened to her before, a mistake which he quickly remedied. And boy, was he glad he did! "She may be the best singer," Church told Variety. "I was floored. And you know what, the best thing about this ... I'm a fan."

But wowing listeners is nothing new for the Grammy-nominated star, who released her critically acclaimed album Heaux Tales in 2021. "Feeling undervalued, unappreciated and overlooked, even as we work harder, is always in the back of women's minds," Sullivan told Billboard of the project. It's a sentiment that can be applied to her Super Bowl performance, too. No doubt fans are thrilled to see Sullivan receive the praise and recognition she deserves!