It was announced today that Mary J. Blige will sing the National Anthem prior to the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Blige, who has been dubbed the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul", is scheduled to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" around 5:10 p.m. ET, just following the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, which is the race that precedes the Kentucky Derby. Blige follows Jordin Sparks who had the honor of singing it during the 2011 running.
The Kentucky Derby informed their fans today that Mary J. Blige would be singing the National Anthem, via Twitter:
KentuckyDerby.com gives a good breakdown on Blige's career:
A singer/songwriter from the age of 18, Blige introduced her debut album, “What’s the 411,” in 1992. With two R&B No. 1 hits, “You Remind Me” and “Real Love,” the album immediately went multi-platinum. Together with her follow-up albums, eight of which have gone multi-platinum, Blige’s work has achieved worldwide sales of more than 50 million albums. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards (out of a staggering 29 nominations) and four American Music Awards. Currently in release is her 10th studio album, “My Life II. . .The Journey Continues (Act 1),” a sequel to her highly successful 1994 classic “My Life.” “My Life II” includes the cornerstone track “Living Proof,” which was featured as the closing song for the hit movie “The Help” and earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Guest artists featured on “My Life II” include Drake, Busta Rhymes and Beyonce. Blige co-wrote “I Can See Color” for the soundtrack of the 2009 movie “Precious.” In June, she will appear in “Rock of Ages,” the theatrical version of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, with stars Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta Jones.
News of Blige's Kentucky Derby appearance began to spread around Twitter, and some took it as time to knock here for her recent Burger King snafu:
#kyderby. Get your mute button, ooops, I mean DVR ready.Mary J Blige will sing the national anthem at the
Wow, Mary J. Blige is going to sing National Anthem at the KY Derby. Cool
Mary J Blige's gonna sing the anthem at Kentucky Derby...I know there's a chicken wrap joke in there somewhere, give me a few seconds...
Wow, Mary J. Blige is sining the National Anthem at the Kentucky Derby this year. I'm very surprised that KY chose an urban entertainer.
@thinkofme13 omg what!!! thats amazing! mary j blige is pretty awesome!
— Kezia Trueblood (@switchearts13) April 23, 2012
Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012.