For those who wondered if Sheryl Lee Ralph lip-synced during her Super Bowl performance, her response: “Does it matter? Does it matter? No. Thank you.”
The Emmy-winning actress-singer made the comments to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday (Feb. 12) following her performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the State Farm Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
She said she was feeling a high of positivity following the performance. “It’s just so amazing that they chose me. And then the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. I mean, come on. You know God must be a woman because all of this is just too perfect,” Ralph said.
“Just amazing, just stunning,” she continued. “And the way people have been coming back, they said, ‘Girl, you made the pre-show look like it was trying to be halftime.’ They said, ‘The costume. The wardrobe. The hair. The shoes. The makeup.’ I was just like, ‘Well, thank you. Fenty of it all, hey.’”
The entertainer, 66, performed the Black National Anthem on the same date it was first publicly performed 123 years ago: February 12, 1900. She said she was happy to make history at the Super Bowl, which took place during Black History Month.
“Abbott Elementary takes place in Philadelphia. My husband is a senator in Philadelphia. And this year the Eagles [went] to the Super Bowl — I had already been chosen to sing,” she said. After Ralph hit her last note, the camera panned to her Abbott Elementary co-stars, creator Quinta Brunson and Lisa Ann Walter, who proudly cheered her on.
“It is absolute magic because Quinta literally chose me for this moment. She said, ‘Mrs. Ralph, they’re sleeping on your talent, but I’m not. Come take this journey with me.’ And everything that she said was going to happen. Here I am. It’s crazy,” said Ralph, who won an Emmy for her role as kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard on the series. “This was a bit of a cherry on top. We’re a bit taken back by all of this. It’s amazing. We’re happy. We’re so happy.”
Ralph has appeared in a number of TV shows and films, and earned a Tony nomination for her role on Broadway’s Dreamgirls. She said she’s enjoying the wild ride she’s been on since the debut and major success of Abbott Elementary.
“All I can do is thank God — that God would deliver me all these flowers at this point in my career. There’s so many people that have written me off and said, ‘Well, that’s it for her.’ And if it had been, that’s all for me, everybody would’ve said, ‘Well, she had a great career.’ But now it’s going from great to OK, that’s pretty damn amazing. How fantastic,” she said.
“OK, my God, what’s she going to do next? Produce a blockbuster? Act in a blockbuster? Who’s she going to play? Is she going to be a superhero? Because obviously she can do what we are not expecting,” she added.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.