National Anthem

Leon Bridges on approaching the national anthem with soul

The Grammy-nominated artist explains why he sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in 6/8 time and addresses Kaepernick’s protest

Leon Bridges, like most Americans, has heard The Star-Spangled Banner sung countless times.

But something was missing each time he heard our national anthem – something he’s quite familiar with: a little bit of soul. When ESPN approached him to be part of The Anthem project, he eagerly took the opportunity to give his rendition and explain his approach.

Bridges also shared his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem, a move that put an intensified spotlight on the song and forced a national conversation on the lingering reality of racial inequality in America.