AURORA -- A suburban Chicago teenager who performed in a Super Bowl commercial that features young women singing "America the Beautiful" in various languages is fending off criticism about the Coca-Cola advertisement.
Metea Valley High School sophomore Sushmitha Suresh sang a portion of the song in Hindi.
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She says she supports the ad's message, according to a report in The (Aurora) Beacon-News, even though the commercial upset some people who argued the song should only have been sung in English.
"I completely respect their opinions," she said. "But I am proud of what I've done to promote diversity. I am still an American."
Suresh recorded the song in December during a trip to New York, but wasn't allowed to discuss the commercial because of a contract she'd signed.
She and her family first saw the full, 60-second ad during last weekend's Super Bowl.
"The moment the commercial came on, my husband started shouting," said her mother, Shobana Suresh. "It was a really great feeling. I am so happy for her."
For her part, Sushmitha Suresh calls the experience "unreal" and "so crazy."
She plans to use the money she earned from the commercial to help pay for college, where she hopes to study audio engineering.