Chicago Sun-Times

Jim Cornelison to sing National Anthem Sunday at Soldier Field

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The NFL is calling an audible.

Former American Idol contestant Lee DeWyze was scheduled to perform the National Anthem for Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. But the NFL is working to finalize the wishes of the Bears, an organization that clearly wanted Jim Cornelison to perform the honor.

"It's about the fans, and they love the anthem when Jim does it, and this is the biggest championship game ever, so we want it to start right," said Scott Hagel, the Bears senior director of corporate communications.

Cornelison, whose rousing version can be heard at Blackhawks games, performed three times this season, most recently Sunday before the Bears defeated the Seattle Seahawks 35-24. His performance has created a buzz locally and nationally with one clip on Youtube nearing 1 million views.

The newest season of American Idol is about to start on Fox, which is broadcasting the NFC title game. DeWyze, who is from Mount Prospect, was the winner of the ninth season of American Idol.

DeWyze will now perform at halftime instead.

Cornelison is in his fourth season as the Blackhawks' full-time National Anthem singer, although he's performed regularly at the United Center since 1996.

He has a background in opera, and he's performed with Plácido Domingo and Zubin Mehta.

According to his Blackhawks bio, "he's known as a heroic tenor for the dark color of his voice but ability to sing in a tenor range."

Not surprisingly, he's won some awards.

Full disclosure: I've been a lot of events, and I've heard a lot of renditions, most of them very nice. Whitney Houston's at a Super Bowl was beautiful, and Boyz to Men, one of my favorite groups as a teenager, did a cool A cappella version. But Cornelison's was chilling on Sunday, especially capped by the flyover.

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8 Comments

Sean- 1- of my friends was at the game. He knows I don't like all the Pre-game fluff, and usually flick it on the game at Kickoff, he texted me did I hear the national anthem, I missed it. I went to YouTube, found the video, and was floored...

You could see that the Bear players were MOVED!
I was imagining some scruffy Justin Bieber type dude with a Guitar, singing some

"Folksy" version of the Anthem if the "idol" kid would've done it...


I'm glad Fox listened to the people.

BTW-
is anybody else tired of the "HYPE" like me and ready for the game to start-all ready???

Boyz to men??? Are you kidding me??? How about Wayne Messmer who was the one who started it all in 1985. Look up his rendition from the 1991 NHL All Star game in the old Chicago Stadium. That was the best anthem ever!

I don't see the youtube link that has 1 Million views? The most I see is 10,000?

Gee, tired of the hype or tired of the Packer hype? Rodgers blows off a cancer patient and he is an Angle, and Cutler is a jerk face because he was seen with bad body language Nordstroms.

I am just saying, Rodgers has had his share of chokes in big games, has struggled to beat the Bears, throws his teamates under the bus all the time, but is the best ever in a pass happy offense. Cutler on the other hand gets pounded in to the dirt on a regular basis, doesn't say anything about it but his girlfriend was on the Hills so he is scum who should kiss media butt and thank them for allowing him to speak to them.

Just saying. I will tell you this he has done more with his feat this year to keep plays alive than any QB in the league.

TOP ELEVEN SIGNS YOUR SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
IS TOO PSYCHED FOR NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME VS. PACKERS

11. Dumped a bucket of Gatorade on 4th grade spelling bee champ.
10. Fifth graders will be dissecting footballs, not frogs.
9. Challenges students by asking "What would Olin Kreutz do?"
8. Now wearing a mouthguard.
7. Throwing food now ok, as long as throws are "nice tight spirals."
6. Parents must define sick children as "Doubtful, Questionable or Probable."
5. Considers Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps "higher education."
4. Rather than Pledge of Allegiance, starts every day with a coin toss.
3. Instead of Principal, prefers "Peanut."
2. Students enter school through new "playoff ticket detector" security system.
1. "Your locker" is now pronounced "Ur lacher."

I don't get it. Not really that great.

Great decision. Now if all you folks in Chicago will just follow the example of a lot of people up here and sing your anthem with Cornelison, that would really be perfection. Try it, you'll like it.

Should have had Jim Cornelison sing the anthem at the Super Bowl too.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 18, 2011 4:33 PM.

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