Jordin Sparks To Sing National Anthem, Alicia Keys Joins Super Bowl Performance Roster

February 1, 2008 10:30 AM ET

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks is about to accomplish something her retired football player father never did: Perform on the Super Bowl field. Sparks, whose dad Phillippi spent nine seasons wearing the New York Giants blue but never made it to the big game, will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Sunday's Super Bowl in Jordin's home turf of Glendale, Arizona. Alicia Keys has also been drafted to perform during the Super Bowl pre-game show, even though Keys admits "Even I, who might think the Mighty Ducks and Penguins are playing, love the Super Bowl." Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers headline the halftime show, while this year's batch of high-profile commercials will feature the likes of Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott.

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Madonna Emerges as Big Super Bowl Winner
Paula Abdul in Talks to Play Super Bowl
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers To Play Super Bowl Halftime Show

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »