Grammy Award-Winning Entertainer Jennifer Nettles to Sing National Anthem at the 145th Kentucky Derby

Apr 29, 2019 Sara Brown Meehan

LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 29, 2019 – Churchill Downs Racetrack today 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 4, 2019. Nettles will also be a guest of the world-famous Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala.

Nettle’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be broadcast live on NBC and take place in front of approximately 160,000 fans attending the 2019 Kentucky Derby. It will take place in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5:00 PM EDT, immediately prior to the historic race.

“Jennifer Nettles is a country music and vocal powerhouse,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We are excited and honored for her to perform our national anthem for the millions of 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 Lee Ann Rimes (2009).   

Jennifer Nettles has become one of the most admired singer-songwriters in music today. She has won five ASCAP awards for her songwriting abilities and received a Grammy® Award, Academy of Country Music (ACM) Award and Country Music Association (CMA) Award for penning the emotionally charged, #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 of 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.

Jennifer makes up one half of the international duo Sugarland who exploded onto the music scene in 2004. Sugarland has earned eight #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 of the NBC Dolly Parton television biopic, 'Coat of Many Colors,' which aired to rave reviews in December 2015. 

For More Information on Jennifer Nettles

Official Website:

YouTube Page:




About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented the Kentucky Derby since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4, 2019. The track’s 2019 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 29. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships nine times.


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