Luke Bryan Went Through ‘Mental Torture’ Singing at the Super Bowl in 2017

Luke Bryan, the 43-year-old country singer with an estimated net worth of $90 million who known for his hit songs such as “This Is How We Roll” and “Play It Again” just said he’s still traumatized by his 2017 Super Bowl performance. Keep reading to learn what the Academy of Country Music award winner had to say about the “mental torture” he experienced leading up to his appearance where he sang the national anthem ahead of the game. 

For musicians, performing at the Super Bowl ranks right up there with winning a Grammy. It’s a big deal and comes with a lot of pressure and expectations with millions upon millions of people watching. Bryan, who went on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Sunday night, Oct. 27, 2019, talked about singing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LI and why experienced “mental torture” beforehand. 

Luke Bryan singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl 51 in 2017
Luke Bryan singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl 51 in 2017 | Elsa/Getty Images

‘You either get the anthem right or you don’t’ 

The judge on American Idol who got a push from fellow country singer, Blake Shelton, to join a singing competition, said performing at the Super Bowl — a sign a musician’s really made it in the industry — isn’t so easy. He recounted his experience and offered up some specifics on what happened leading up to his performance. 

“I sign on to the anthem at the Super Bowl and when I got the call, you’re like, ‘Do you really want to put yourself through this mental torture?'” Bryan told Fallon, according to E! News.

“You either get the anthem right or you don’t, first of all,” he added. 

The father of two recalled rehearsing for days while his friends were betting on the outcome of his performance. 

“Man, I got country music buddies calling me like, ‘Hey man, you wearing a hat or not?'” he said saying that some were taking bets on how long he’d sing. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know! I’m singing in front of—leave me alone!'”  In all fairness, Super Bowl bets can be pretty bizarre.

When it came time to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Bryan delivered and celebrated immediately after. “I get to the box, after I perform,” he recalled. “And I’m just like, ‘Somebody get me a vodka drink right now so I can get my life back on track.'” 

Luke Bryan with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Luke Bryan with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show | Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He then commiserated with Fallon about how nerves can nearly get the best of you. “I mean, you’ve been in those situations where you’re so nervous, like, your face locks up,” Bryan told the host. “It feels like you have rigor mortis setting in.”

Bryan’s snafu at MLB All-Star Game

What also could’ve been a contributing factor to the “mental torture” Bryan endured prior to his Super Bowl performance was a previous gig at another major sporting event, the MLB All-Star Game. In 2012, Bryan sang the national anthem and got called out for glancing down at his hand where he had written some lyrics down, according to The Washington Post. 

Following the snafu, he apologized and later he explained what happened during an interview with Rolling Stone. 

“I had just written down ‘streaming’ and ‘gleaming’ because for some reason during rehearsals I kept jumbling those up. Then I started psyching myself out on it,” he told the publication. “I thought I did a great job on the anthem, but the unfortunate thing was people saw me checking those two words,” he said. “I learned from it, and you know, I’m just gonna walk out there and sing it and go from there.”

Knowing what we know now about Bryan’s performances at big time sporting events, we might have to start making bets on whether or not the country singer will ever agree to perform at a game again.

Here’s what Bryan has to say about what it’s really like to go out on a date with Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.