Despite battling the flu, Pink delivers a strong ‘Star Spangled Banner’

MINNEAPOLIS — Recovering from the flu, pop star Pink opened up Super Bowl LII with a soaring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” that quickly drew praise online.

The 38-year-old singer grew up about 30 miles from Philadelphia, and was chosen to open up the championship game between the Eagles and the New England Patriots Sunday. At a pre-Super Bowl show Friday the singer told the audience she had the flu and joked that her children “cough into my mouth and I can’t stop them ’cause they’re so cute.”

Despite recovering from illness, the singer delivered a strong performance that only appeared to falter for a moment during the challenging high notes at the end of the song. It wasn’t immediately clear if she sang along with a pre-recorded track, as a live orchestra accompanied the singer, but none could be seen on the field.

The singer also removed what appeared to be gum or a cough drop from her mouth immediately before her performance in a relatable moment that also drew praise online.

Leslie Odom, Jr. also sang “America the Beautiful” before Sunday’s game backed by Minneapolis-area singers from the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir and Commusication program.

While there was speculation over whether players would take a knee in protest during the anthem, no Eagles or Patriots players appeared to do so.