Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced that Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Jennifer Nettles will sing the National Anthem at the 145th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, May 4th. Nettles will also be a guest the world-famous Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala.
Nettle’s performance “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be broadcast live on NBC and take place in front approximately 160,000 fans attending the 2019 Kentucky Derby. It will take place in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5 pm EDT, immediately prior to the historic race.
“Jennifer Nettles is a country music and vocal powerhouse,” states Kevin Flanery, President Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We are excited and honored for her to perform our national anthem for the millions viewers and fans around the world who tune in on Derby day.”
Nettles is the eleventh artist to perform the national anthem since Churchill Downs began the tradition in 2009. Notable artists and vocalists who have performed the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby include Pentatonix (2018), Harry Connick, Jr. (2017), Lady Antebellum (2016), Josh Groban (2015), Jo Dee Messina (2014), Martina McBride (2013), Mary J. Blige (2012), Jordin Sparks (2011), Rascal Flatts (2010) and LeAnn Rimes (2009).
Jennifer Nettles has become one the most admired singer-songwriters in music today. She has won five ASCAP awards for her songwriting abilities and received a Grammy Award, Academy Country Music (ACM) Award and Country Music Association (CMA) Award for penning the emotionally charged, No. 1 platinum hit, “Stay.” At the 2009 ACM Awards, Jennifer was honored with the “Crystal Milestone Award” for being the first female artist to be the solo songwriter on an ACM “Song the Year” winner since 1972. As a solo artist, she released the critically acclaimed albums Playing With Fire and To Celebrate Christmas on Big Machine Records.
Nettles makes up one half the international duo Sugarland who exploded onto the music scene in 2004. Sugarland has earned eight No. 1 singles, over 22 million in worldwide record sales and racked up numerous awards from the Grammys, American Music Awards, the ACM, The CMA and CMT Music Awards.
In February 2015 Jennifer made her Broadway debut as Roxy Hart in the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking musical, Chicago, and joined the cast the NBC Dolly Parton television biopic, Coat Many Colors, which aired to rave reviews in December 2015.