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Gladys Knight addresses Super Bowl performance controversy

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Gladys Knight will sing at the Super Bowl this Sunday

GLADYS KNIGHT has spoken out about her decision to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Knight has been criticised for accepting the invitation to be part of the festivities when a number of other high profile artists including Rihanna and Cardi B have turned down offers because of the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, who protested racial injustice in the United States by taking a knee during the national anthem at games, has not played in the sport since he 2017.

Responding to critics, Knight told Entertainment Tonight: "This is my country. This is my state, my city and I love my country. It's really as simple as that.”

She added: "I choose all my songs by what they say, or what they would make me [feel]... I think about the people that fought, and marched, and died, and did all those things for our country. I'm proud to just honor them by singing that anthem."

When she addressed the issue earlier this month, Knight told the publication: "I understand that Mr Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice.

"It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone."

The 74-year-old singer isn’t the only star that has defended the choice to participate in the event.

Rapper Travis Scott, who is to perform with Maroon 5 during the halftime segment, has also faced a backlash for agreeing to take part.

Scott, 26, revealed that he made the decision to take to the stage during halftime after the NFL agreed to donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a non-profit organisation.

In addition to Scott, Atlanta rapper Big Boi has also been announced as one of the guest performers.

Andre 3000, the other half of Outkast, is not expected to join Big Boi.

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