Editor’s Note: This was a popular CT story when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it for your Independence Day enjoyment.
If you didn’t know the name Jennifer Nettles before, you’re going to know it now that she’s sung the national anthem at one of the biggest college football games of the entire year.
Nettles, in case you didn’t know, is one half of country music duo Sugarland. She’s had plenty of hits before, although none could compare to the kind of attention she got this weekend.
According to CMT, Nettles was the national anthem singer in Bristol, Tennessee, on the day before the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11th. She was also singing to the largest crowd to ever watch a college football game; thanks to the fact that the University of Tennessee Volunteers had moved the game to the NASCAR track at Bristol, over 156,000 fans were able to see their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Not only that, she was singing it during a rough spot for those who support the national anthem. Many professional football players, in particular Colin Kaepernick, have sat out the anthem as a symbol of oppression.
Instead of letting that get her down, though, Nettles belted it out of the park — literally. Take a listen to this.
Even if you wanted to sit through that anthem, you couldn’t.
Practically every one of the 156,000 people there were touched, I can tell you that much. Even the announcer added, “What a way to get things started.”
It certainly spurred on the hometown Volunteers, who won 45-24 over the Hokies in the so-called “Battle of Bristol.”
It’s unknown who’s going to be singing the national anthem at next year’s Battle of Bristol, but I’d advise whoever’s in charge to sign Nettles up as soon as they can. After all, with a voice and patriotic fervor like that, they can break that attendance record easily.
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