April 12 (UPI) -- Actor, recording artist and talk-show host Harry Connick Jr. is to sing the national anthem at the 143rd Kentucky Derby on May 6, the Churchill Downs Racetrack announced.
"We are excited for Harry Connick, Jr. to perform our national anthem for the millions of Derby fans across the globe," Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in a statement Wednesday. "He's one of the finest entertainers in the world and his performance will help make 2017 another great year at the Kentucky Derby."
Connick Jr. is the ninth artist to perform the national anthem since Churchill Downs began this tradition in 2009. Lady Antebellum, Josh Groban, Jo Dee Messina, Martina McBride, Mary J. Blige, Jordin Sparks, Rascal Flatts and LeeAnn Rimes previously sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the high-profile horse race.