LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 12, 2017 – Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced that multi-platinum recording artist Harry Connick, Jr. will sing our national anthem at the 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
The multiple Grammy and Emmy award-winning entertainer and host and executive producer of his own nationally syndicated entertainment show HARRY, will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” live for more than 160,000 fans at the Kentucky Derby. The performance will take place in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle just after 5:00 p.m. EDT and be broadcast live as part of NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage.
“We are excited for Harry Connick, Jr. to perform our national anthem for the millions of Derby fans across the globe,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “He’s one of the finest entertainers in the world and his performance will help make 2017 another great year at the Kentucky Derby.”
Harry Connick, Jr. has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world. He has received recognition with multiple Grammy and Emmy awards as well as Tony nominations for his live and recorded musical performances, his achievements on screens large and small, and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer. The debut season of his new daytime TV Show HARRY was recently recognized with five Emmy nominations, including a nomination for best host.
Harry Connick Jr. is the ninth artist to perform the national anthem since Churchill Downs began the tradition in 2009. Past artists who performed the national anthem are Lady Antebellum (2016), Josh Groban (2015), Jo Dee Messina (2014), Martina McBride (2013), Mary J. Blige (2012), Jordin Sparks (2011), Rascal Flatts (2010) and LeeAnn Rimes (2009).
About the Kentucky Derby
The $2 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for three-year-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing's challenging Triple Crown series. Also known as the "The Run for the Roses," "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" and "America's Race," the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with more than 160,000 attendees in 2016.
About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs Racetrack, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race the Kentucky Derby continuously 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 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 6, 2017. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times and is scheduled to host again in 2018. www.churchilldowns.com.