By J. Douglas Boles
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 11, 2011 – Global music superstars and Grammy Award winners David Foster, Seal and Kelly Clarkson will perform the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Seal and Clarkson will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a duet, accompanied by Foster on piano. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces will stand at attention beside Foster’s grand piano during the performance.
It’s the first duet of the anthem accompanied by a piano in the 100-year history of the race.
“We’re thrilled to welcome David Foster, Seal and Kelly Clarkson to perform the national anthem before such a historic occasion as the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “This will be a special performance that will pay tribute to our great nation and its military, a moment our fans will cherish for a long time.”
Foster is a 16-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter. Known as “The Hit Man,” Foster has been an integral part of the biggest and best talents in the music industry including Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Andrea Bocelli, Chicago, Michael Bublé, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Earth Wind & Fire, N’Sync, The Corrs, Natalie Cole, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Chaka Khan, The Tubes, All 4 One, Michael Bolton, Brandy and a few thousand more.
He also has a direct family tie to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” as his cousin Billy Foster participated as a driver in the 1965 and 1966 Indianapolis 500. A “Gasoline Alley Unplugged” feature about Foster with IMS Historian Donald Davidson can be heard at http://cot.ag/jqVp5M.
Chevrolet also donated to the David Foster Foundation, a charity devoted to promoting organ donor registration in the United States, the winning bid of $225,000 for the special-edition 2011 Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car replica that was auctioned in January.
“The Indianapolis 500 is the pinnacle,” Foster said. “I’ve been a fan as far back as I have been playing the piano, which is age 5. There’s just something so magical about the Brickyard and that oval.
“I’m happy to be accompanying my friends Seal and Kelly Clarkson, who have the most amazing voices. I’ve created an arrangement that will be pretty spectacular and put two great voices together.”
Seal has earned countless accolades and has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide in a career that has spanned more than two decades. Known for his one-of-a-kind, husky baritone voice and classic songwriting, Seal has enjoyed success across many genres of music.
His emotional, romantic love songs, such as “Prayer For the Dying,” the Grammy Award-winning “Kiss From A Rose” and “Don’t Cry” from his 1994 album, “Seal II,” and “Love’s Divine” from his 2003 release, “Seal IV”, delighted fans and earned critical acclaim. But Seal also has enjoyed great success in the dance/pop music world beginning with his roots in Britain’s house music/rave scene.
“I’ve been a fan of the Indy 500 for a long time, so I’m very excited to be a part of the 100th anniversary of the race,” Seal said. “Performing with David Foster and Kelly Clarkson is always great fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Global superstar and multiple Grammy winner Clarkson has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide since her debut in 2002. Clarkson’s last album, “All I Ever Wanted,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and was called “…sassy, confident and full of power-ballad energy” by Entertainment Weekly while USA Today raved, “…everything about this project screams hit album.” The album’s first hit single “My Life Would Suck Without You” shattered the Billboard Hot 100 record at the time when it jumped from No. 97 to No. 1 in its first week of release.”Already Gone,” the third single off the album, held the No. 1 position on the Hot AC Chart for eight weeks. Clarkson’s follow-up album will be released in 2011.
“I’ve always been a fan of Seal’s voice, and I love going to see races,” Clarkson said. “So, getting to sing the anthem with Seal for the Indy 500, along with the incredible David Foster accompanying us, is going to be awesome.”
The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 starts at noon (ET) May 29. Live coverage on ABC and the IMS Radio Network -XM 94/Sirius 212 starts at 11 a.m.
2011 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, “The Most Important Race in History,” on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Children 12 and under will be receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2011 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.