Gladys Knight will honor America by singing the National Anthem prior to kickoff on September 13, 2021, when the Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens in the regular-season opener at Allegiant Stadium.
The rendition by the star singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and humanitarian will be witnessed by an anticipated 60-plus thousand fans that will pack Allegiant for the first time in the regular season and millions watching around the world for this primetime Monday Night Football contest.
“This is quite an honor for me to be chosen to sing the National Anthem for this historic first Raiders’ season opening Monday Night Football game in Las Vegas with fans,” says Gladys, who sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIII and is a seven-time Grammy winner with No. 1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary musical categories. “The Raiders are like family to me and I’ve been a Raiders fan for decades. To be able to honor our country, the Raiders team and my home of Las Vegas by singing the Anthem, it is just so special. I am very honored that they still think of me when moments like this are considered and am beyond proud to be chosen for this amazing honor.”
The “Empress of Soul” has performed multiple residencies in Southern Nevada and won numerous awards and accolades in her career that’s now spanned seven decades. In addition to those multiple Grammys, she was honored with the Soul Train Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (1989) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1996).
As Gladys hits the final notes of the National Anthem inside Allegiant Stadium, F-35A fighter jets from the United States Air Force 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron (422 TES) out of Nellis Air Force Base will perform a flyover in formation over “The Death Star” then past the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The squadron performs operational testing of fighter aircraft currently employed globally by Air Combat Command. The F-35 Division was established September 2013 for testing and evaluation of the F-35A Lightning II.
The barely year-old Allegiant Stadium has already had the highest stratosphere of entertainers grace the mic. Las Vegas resident and music industry icon Marie Osmond sang the National Anthem prior to the Raiders’ August 14 preseason game versus Seattle, the first with fans. Singer-songwriter Judith Hill, who opened the groundbreaking ceremony in November 2017, repeated that performance alongside the Las Vegas House of Blues Choir in a special pregame show.
Lifelong Raiders fan and entertainment superstar Carlos Santana put on a stirring two-song set at halftime that left the 50,000-plus attendees rocking even through the third quarter kickoff. All were backed by the Raiders House Band, a gameday entertainment staple from the 1960s that was bought back in 2021 to entertain at home games. Allegiant Stadium has been the site of two sold-out concerts, country music legend Garth Brooks in July and rock band Guns N’ Roses in August.
As for Monday night, in the familiar ditty of Hank Williams Jr. — “Are You Ready For Some Football?”