Kelly follows in the footsteps of singers like Harry Connick, Jr., Jo Dee Messina, and Martina McBride.

By Meghan Overdeep
April 26, 2021
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Today, Churchill Downs Racetrack announced that American Idol and The Masked Singer alum Tori Kelly will sing the national anthem at the 147th Kentucky Derby.

"Tori Kelly is one of music's most vibrant, versatile artists, and we look forward to her national anthem performance as we come together this year to celebrate the Kentucky Derby," Mike Anderson, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in a statement. "We are excited to welcome Tori to Louisville to help us kick off the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May."

Tori Kentucky Derby
Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Mark Brown/Getty Images

The platinum, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter will lend her powerhouse pipes to "The Star-Spangled Banner" live at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

Kelly, 28, first entered the music scene back in 2015 with her soulful "Unbreakable Smile," which reached the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts. In 2018, she took home two Grammys— Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song—for Hiding Place and the single "Never Alone." Kelly most recently worked with Justin Bieber on his surprise, six-track gospel EP Freedom.

Past artists who have performed the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby include Jennifer Nettles, Harry Connick, Jr., Josh Groban, Jo Dee Messina, and Martina McBride.

Kelly's performance will take place just after 5:00 p.m. EDT and be broadcast live as part of NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage.