Across the country, all eyes were glued to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11, pitting Alabama and Clemson together in a duel that will go down in history for being one of the most exciting and competitive ever.
Yet, it was country music fans’ ears that were glued to the television set minutes before the game, as rising star Canaan Smith performed the patriotic anthem “America the Beautiful.” To make the rendition even more beautiful, a smooth-sounding Smith was joined by a group of elite vocalists from “Encore,” the touring ensemble of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus. Smith was also joined by other performers during the game, including contemporary R&B/hip-hop star Ciara performing the national anthem and fellow country artist Eric Church who headlined the Championship Tailgate.
The performance was certainly a rousing way to kick off 2016 for Smith, who is preparing to get back out on the road with Brantley Gilbert on the “Black Out Tour” starting Jan. 28 in Saginaw, Mich.
“2015 was insane,” Smith recently told fans. “Thank you fans for allowing me to do this day in and day out, y’all are what keep me ticking. Can’t wait to unveil what’s next in 2016, we’ve got a lot of cool things planned. Stay tuned and we’ll see you out on the road. Thanks for everything!”