Watch Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles Soar on National Anthem at 2019 Kentucky Derby
Broadcast live on NBC, Nettles delivered the tricky performance in front of an estimated 160,000 fans, in addition to the millions that were tuned in at home. The singer sang with an easy poise that can only be born of experience, hitting the song's climactic high note cleanly to the roar of the crowd.
Nettles became the 11th artist to perform the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby since Churchill Downs began the tradition in 2009. Lady Antebellum, Jo Dee Messina, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes are among the other country artists who have performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Kentucky Derby over the years.
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"Jennifer Nettles is a country music and vocal powerhouse,” President of Churchill Downs Racetrack Kevin Flanery said in announcing that Nettles would perform in 2019. “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.”
See Country Singers at the 2019 Kentucky Derby