Philly’s Leslie Odom Jr. gives winning Super Bowl performance
Leslie Odom Jr., a Philadelphia native who won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” opened the pregame festivities of Super Bowl LII on Sunday.
He sang in winning style, with a soul-stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful,” accompanied by the Twin Cities’ Angelica Cantanti and ComMUSICation youth choirs.
Odom, formerly of the East Oak Lane section of the city and a graduate of Masterman High School, is a product of the internationally acclaimed Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). He joins a list of celebrities who have performed “America the Beautiful” at Super Bowls past, including Mark Anthony, Mary J. Blige, Vicki Carr, Ray Charles, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Lea Michele and Queen Latifah.
Before his performance at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, according to People.com, the 36-year-old Broadway star announced he was also releasing a recorded version of the patriotic anthem.
“Excited to share our recorded version of ‘America the Beautiful’ with the wonderful @angelicachoirs and @cmcchoir ... can’t wait for Sunday,” he wrote last Thursday, inviting the fans to purchase the song on iTunes.
Immediately following Odom’s performance, three-time Grammy and former Philly resident Pink, despite battling the flu, delivered a powerful performance of the National Anthem.