Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight via Facebook

The Empress of Soul will kick off the festivities at Super Bowl LIII.

Gladys Knight will sing the national anthem ahead of the big game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3, the NFL and CBS announced Thursday. 

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said in a statement. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year." 

Knight, an Atlanta native, is a seven-time Grammy winning artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who is perhaps best known for her Billboard No. 1 singles, "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "That's What Friends Are For," and her 11 No. 1 R&B singles, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."