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Fleming promises: no Super Bowl lip-synching

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NEW YORK — Renee Fleming says she only knows how to sing the national anthem one way: live.

The 53-year-old opera singer and 1981 graduate of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Sunday’s Super Bowl. She said in an interview Thursday she won’t sing to a pre-recorded track and that she “wouldn’t know how to lip-sync if you paid me.”

“It would be a disaster. I only know how to sing live,” said the singer, known as “The People’s Diva.”

Some artists choose to lip-sync, especially in cold weather. Whitney Houston’s unforgettable performance of the national anthem in 1991 at the Super Bowl was sung to a track, and Beyonce did the same at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration last year.

But Fleming promises it will be entirely real when she walks onto the field at MetLife Stadium, where the Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos. She’ll be singing along to an arrangement from the New Jersey Symphony and have 32 military singers from all the service branches as backup.

Fleming, will be the first opera singer to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

“The thing I love to remind people about what I do is we’re not even amplified,” the soprano said. “We are the final, major art form that is 100 percent acoustic and unplugged.”

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