Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced that the seven-time Grammy Award- winning trio Lady Antebellum will sing the national anthem at the 142nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 7th.
Kicking off the summer season of their 2016 Summer Tour, the country superstars will come together to perform, “The Star-Spangled Banner” live to the more than 170,000 fans who attend the Kentucky Derby. The performance will take place in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5 PM EDT, immediately prior to the historic race, and be broadcast live as part of NBC’s telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
“Each year we work to honor the Kentucky Derby’s rich traditions and celebrate the best of American culture,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “As an internationally-recognized musical group, Lady Antebellum is the perfect fit to uphold the Derby’s traditions and we are thrilled for them to perform our national anthem for the millions of Derby viewers and fans around the world.”
Lady Antebellum is the eighth artist to perform the national anthem since Churchill Downs began the tradition in 2009. Notable artists who have performed the national anthem are Josh Groban (2015), Jo Dee Messina (2014), Martina McBride (2013), Mary J. Blige (2012), Jordin Sparks (2011), Rascal Flatts (2010) and LeAnn Rimes (2009).
As the oldest continuously held sporting event in North America, the Kentucky Derby extends beyond the historic race. Its iconic food, fashion and cocktails make it a worldwide celebration. The Kentucky Derby traditions are incorporated throughout the event, from the carefully curated menu and classic mint julep to the performance of the national anthem by major artists.