SCHOOL CLOSINGS

Harry Connick Jr. to sing national anthem at Kentucky Derby

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Singer Harry Connick Jr. attends Meet Fox's "American Idol XV" Finalists at The London Hotel on February 25, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) β€” Grammy and Emmy award-winning entertainer Harry Connick Jr. will sing the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby next month.

The jazzman, actor and former “American Idol” judge will perform the anthem in the Derby Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs on May 6. His performance before more than 160,000 fans will be broadcast live as part of NBC’s coverage of the 143rd running of the Derby.

Connick has performed the anthem at the Super Bowl and World Series but says it will be his first time at the Derby. He says he expects the crowd to be among the best he’s performed for.

Connick was born in New Orleans and lives in Connecticut.

Previous Derby national anthem singers include Lady Antebellum, Mary J. Blige, Jordin Sparks, Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes.

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