Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling recording artist Mary J. Blige will sing the National Anthem prior to the 138th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs.
A native of New York City, Blige, who has been dubbed the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul,” will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” around 5:10 p.m. ET following the running of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the race that precedes the Kentucky Derby. The performance will be carried live on NBC’s coverage of Kentucky Derby 138 which airs 4-7 p.m. ET.
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.
For more information about Mary J. Blige, visit her Web site at www.maryjblige.com.
Churchill Downs, 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) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.