From Churchill Downs…
LOUISVILLE, KY – Multiplatinum and award-winning singer, songwriter and actor, Josh Groban, will perform the national anthem at the 141st Kentucky Derby(r) Presented by Yum! Brands at historic Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) on Saturday, May 2.
The performance by the internationally-renowned artist will take place in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5 p.m. EDT, immediately prior to the race. The performance will be broadcast live as part of the NBC telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
“We are thrilled to welcome Josh Groban to perform at the Kentucky Derby,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s most exciting events in sports, fashion, celebrity and tradition, so we are delighted to have this celebrated artist perform our national anthem for the millions of fans across the globe who watch the Kentucky Derby.”
Dating back to 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held sporting event in North America. As such, Groban joins a long history of famous faces who have attended this extravagant and glamorous springtime sports party that includes Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, entertainment icons Bob Hope, Jack Nicholson and Justin Timberlake, and a long roster of sports heroes that range from New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth to basketball superstar Michael Jordan and three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.
Groban, who is attending his second Kentucky Derby, is only the seventh artist to perform the national anthem since Churchill Downs began the tradition in 2009. Last year, more than 15 million viewers watched country music superstar Jo Dee Messina perform the “Star-Spangled Banner” before an on-track crowd of nearly 165,000 fans. Notable artists who have performed the national anthem include Martina McBride (2013), Mary J. Blige (2012), Jordin Sparks (2011), Rascal Flatts (2010) and Lee Ann Rimes (2009).
Since his debut in 2001, Josh Groban has entertained fans across the globe with his multiplatinum albums and DVDs (selling more than 30 million worldwide), electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances. Groban is the only artist who has had two albums land on Billboard’s list of 20 best-sellers of the last 10 years. In 2007, he became the best-selling recording artist of the year thanks to sales of Awake and his blockbuster Grammy-nominated Christmas album, Noel – the best-selling album of 2007. At the end of 2010, Groban released the Rick Rubin-produced, platinum-certified Illuminations. All That Echoes followed in 2013, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, Groban’s first No. 1 debut and third chart-topper.
On April 28, Groban will release his seventh studio album, Stages – a collection of some of the greatest musical theater songs of all time, which Groban describes as “gorgeously arranged songs that have stood the test of time,” and which he was drawn to because of their combination of “incredible melody with an incredible story.”