Eric Church Explains How We’ve ‘Lost Things That Used to Unite Us’

by Keeli Parkey

Recent events in the United States led singer Eric Church to reconsider his previous stance on singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Previously, the country star said he never wanted to sing America’s National Anthem. However, according to an interview he gave to the L.A. Times, the Capitol riot in January changed his point of view. In fact, the riot made him really think about the current state of his country.

For the singer, Americans have lost track of many things that have traditionally brought the country together. Thanks to the decisive political rhetoric of recent years and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been difficult for citizens to come together like we used to, according to the singer.

“I feel like in this country, we’ve given up the common ground. When I’m at a concert, I’m not thinking about how many people there are Republicans or Democrats. But that’s how you win elections — you have to create the division, to rile up a base,” Church told the L.A. Times. “And because of COVID, we’ve lost the things that used to unite us: concerts, sporting events, trips to Vegas with the boys.”

Church went on to say that he believes the sooner Americans can get back to a pre-COVID-19 existence, the better. People need to be able to gather together, he said.

“I can tell you from the concert standpoint, the longer we go without people being able to put their arms around the person next to them and have a moment of communion, it gets more tenuous and more dangerous,” Church also said during the interview. “And I think the reality of that is what happened at the Capitol.”

Eric Church to Sing National Anthem Before Super Bowl LV

Eric Church will be singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” alongside R&B star Jazmine Sullivan before the kickoff of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7.

He said during the interview that he thinks their performance could be a unifying force for the country.

“With what’s going on in America, it feels like an important time for a patriotic moment,” Church said. “An important time for unity. The fact that I’m a Caucasian country singer and she’s an African American R&B singer — I think the country needs that.”

Church and Sullivan will be getting together to prepare for their performance on one of the country’s biggest stages.

“… I’ve not met her in person; we’re both going down to Tampa midweek and we’ll get together several times,” Church said in the interview. “I know I want to play guitar. And we’re keeping it based around the melody. Basically, if I can stay out of her way, we’re golden.”

Super Bowl LV will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It will be a contest between the Kansas Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will lead the favored Chiefs against future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.