Watch Gavin DeGraw Perform the National Anthem at Nashville Predators Playoff Game 5
Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw performed the national anthem before the Nashville Predators took the ice to square off against the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday (April 20) in Nashville.
The "I Don't Want to Be" hitmaker is a Nashville resident, and he turned in a unique interpretation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that relied less on raw vocal power and more on a soulful interpretation. He hit the song's high note strong, drawing appreciative applause from the Smashville fans assembled hoping to see their hometown team take home a win.
DeGraw is not a country singer, but he's not entirely a stranger to the genre. He's longtime friends with Brett Young, and the two recently teamed for a show in Las Vegas. He's also worked with Martina McBride and Sara Evans, and he told Taste of Country in March that it wouldn't be a stretch for him to make a country album.
"If the market would have me, of course I would," he says. "Every time I'm invited to do something in the country world, I jump at the chance, because I love the fact that the song is the king — that's what they value here. They value the story, they value the realness of the material."
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Take in a Predators Nail-Biter
DeGraw also owns a music-themed bar in Nashville called the Nashville Underground.
The Predators hit the ice at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena with the series tied at two, having lost Game 4 to the Stars 5-1. They went into the playoffs as Central Division champions, and they'll head back to Dallas for the next game in the best-of-seven series.
2019 marks the fifth year in a row that the Predators have made it to the playoffs, and this is the third year they've featured celebrity guest anthem singers prior to home games.
Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Dierks Bentley are among the country singers who have previously taken on the challenge.
Gill and Big & Rich have previously performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 2019, and it's become one of Nashville's most sought-after honors to be featured in that spot.
Which Country Star Sang the National Anthem Best?