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Jennifer Hudson Performing at Super Bowl with Help From Newtown Students

Image courtesy of JenniferHudson.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of JenniferHudson.com (via ABC News Radio)

Jennifer Hudson knows what it's like to lose loved ones to violence, and when she performs during the Super Bowl pregame show this Sunday, she'll be joined by others who've experienced that pain. 

An NFL spokesman announced during Thursday's Super Bowl press conference that Jennifer will sing "America the Beautiful" before the big game this weekend, and joining her will be students from Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut Just more than a month ago, the school was the site of a tragic mass shooting that left 26 children and faculty dead. 

This won't be Jennifer's first Super Bowl pregame performance.  She delivered the National Anthem before 2009's big game, which marked the singer's first public appearance following the shooting deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, according to USA Today .

Jennifer was an unexpected addition to this year's already star-studded Super Bowl performance lineup.  As previously reported, Alicia Keys will deliver the national anthem this year.  Meanwhile, Beyonce has been rehearsing for weeks for her halftime set.  During Thursday's press conference, Bey left things up in the air about whether her Destiny's Child pals Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams would be dropping in on her halftime performance.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio