“One of my favorite things to do is sing the National Anthem,” Martina McBride told CBS Local in an interview recently. And she got to do just that in front of nearly 350,000 fans at one of the biggest sporting events of the year last month–the Indianapolis 500.
It was a powerful moment, and you can hear and see it for yourself in the exclusive video below (which is one of McBride’s Martina Moments video series).
For race fans, the video also shows a behind-the-scenes view of the event (and an above-the-scenes perspective, from the sky box), as the cars are prepped and the drivers get ready for the race.
The event proved to be a ‘winner’ in more ways than one for Martina’s label, Big Machine Records. Not only did one of their top artists sing the National Anthem, but Dario Franchitti, who was sponsored by the label, actually won.
And it wasn’t Big Machine’s first day at the races–in fact, the driver they sponsored last year, the late Dan Wheldon, was that year’s Indy 500 winner. According to the label, McBride wore a Dan Wheldon championship ring during her performance of the National Anthem to pay tribute to Wheldon and his family.
As Martina told CBS Local, performing the National Anthem is very special for her. In fact, it was a performance of the Anthem that still stands as one of her most memorable live performances ever.
The moment was, she said, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the fall of 2001. “It was the first Monday Night Football game after 9/11. Remembering how stunned and how raw everything was at that moment, to be able to sing our National Anthem, I felt the words in a whole different way than I’ve ever felt them before. There was such a palpable pride in the stadium, everyone was singing along, chanting ‘USA! USA!’”
“It was emotional, I’ll never forget that.”
- Kurt Wolff, CBS Local