The 15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration kicks off on Friday, Jan. 31 in New York City, and Grammy award-winning singer Patti Label will headline, joining music powerhouse Mary Mary among others for a night of worship ahead of Sunday's XLVIII game.
The highly anticipated event, which combines football and faith, will also see the likes of multi-platinum artists Donnie McClurkin, Natalie Grant and Tamela Mann perform.
Added to the lineup is Motown vocalist Tasha Cobbs, who will perform during a pre-show and the NFL Players Choir, which comprises active and retired football players. They will be looking to uplift the crowd when they take the stage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
"I want to thank these players for giving of themselves in this godly way," Rev. Jesse Jackson said in an opening prayer at a Press Conference Thursday.
NFL choir members, including the Green Bay Packers' Victor Aiyewa, the Cincinnati Bengals' Terrence Stephens and former New York Giant Keith Hamilton, collectively agreed that their faith in Jesus Christ is ultimately what initially drew them to gospel music.
"I was able to press through some of the hardest times with football," Aiyewa said on the power of faith.
"I like to listen to gospel driving down the highway, and not just on a Sunday… I encourage everybody to get a gospel playlist," Stephens said.
Church leaders and other special guests will also give praise at Friday's event. Talk show host Wendy Williams and "EXTRA TV" Correspondent AJ Calloway will co-host throughout what is tipped to be an exhilarating night.
"Both us of need Jesus in our life," Calloway said of himself and Williams. "That's why they picked us."
SBGC attendees have been gathering to rejoice at sell-out shows for more than a decade in Super Bowl host cities including San Diego, Tampa and Houston. NFL fans will unite tomorrow to celebrate Christ ahead of Sunday's Seahawks VS Broncos match, however, the night is not just about football. The event also serves as a charity fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds raised going to select organizations. More than $450,000 and 5,500 tickets have been donated over the past 11 years, and this year proceeds will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"We just know it's going to be bigger and better and more praise-oriented than ever before," Founder and Executive Producer Melanie Few-Harrison said, adding that this year's event attracted "more young [NFL] players than ever."
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