When you learned that Renee Fleming was singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII, you probably had one of two reactions, depending on whether or not you're an opera fan: "Yay!" or "Who?!"
For those in the latter group, don't worry: we have you covered — although chances are that you've actually already heard her sing.
Want to know more? Read on for 5 facts about Renee Fleming.
She Released an Album of Rock Hits. Dark Hope, a Renee's 2010 album, features songs from the Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses — even The Mars Volta — with her classical voice lending its own take.
Barack Obama Awarded Her the 2012 National Medal of Arts. It's the highest honor to artists presented by the U.S. government, and Renee has one — due in no small part to her expansive repertoire. A White House statement on their choice said that Renee "has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop."
She's On the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Soundtrack… Singing in Elvish. Once you get used to singing opera in pretty much every language to ever grace the Earth, made-up languages are no big deal, right? On the track "Twilight and Shadow," Renee sang in Sindarin, the language of the Immortal Elves.
She Does Not Age. If anything, Renee is reverse-aging. Here she is in both 1996 and this past October:
Here she is in 1998. We would like the number of whatever age-reversing witch she is working with, please.
She Was Married to Rick Ross — No, Not That One. Renee met her husband, an actor named Rick Ross in the mid-80s (not to be confused with the rapper of the same name, who would've been around 10 years old at the time), while she was living in New York, attending Julliard and working as a secretary. The pair had two daughters together: The elder daughter, Amelia, is in her early 20s now, and the younger, Sage, is in her late teens.