On This Day: Charlie Daniels Sings ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Playoff Game in 2011

by Chris Haney

A decade ago today, legendary country star Charlie Daniels took the ice at a Nashville Predators playoff game where he sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of a packed crowd.

On May 9, 2011, Daniels graced Bridgestone Arena by performing the national anthem during the pregame ceremonies. The Predators were taking on the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of the NHL playoffs. The two teams were vying for a place in the Western Conference Finals with the series at 3-2. It was a must-win game for the Predators who trailed by a game in the series.

As you can see in the video below, the arena was packed and Nashville’s fans were ready to get rowdy even before the puck was dropped at center ice. As Charlie Daniels finished singing, thousands of yellow “Smashville” towels twirled in the air. The place was geared up and ready for the Predators to beat the Canucks and force a Game 7. However, it wasn’t meant to be.

Even bringing in the big guns like Charlie Daniels couldn’t help turn around Nashville’s deficit. Vancouver scored two goals in the span of two minutes in the first period for the early lead, which they held on to for the rest of the night. The Predators did score one goal, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their early mistakes. The Canucks went on to close out the series and move on to the 2011 Western Conference Finals with their 2-1 win.

Nashville fans were left disappointed with the outcome, but there was a silver lining. The Predators had advanced further in the playoffs than they ever had before in their franchise’s history. Additionally, fans got to see the late iconic Charlie Daniels sing the national anthem. You can’t complain about that parting gift.

Charlie Daniels Passes Away at the Age of 83

On July 6, 2020, country superstar Charlie Daniels passed away at age 83. The Country Music Hall of Fame member, best known for his hit song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.

Although he passed away on that Saturday, Daniels’ publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, confirmed the news that following Monday morning to the Tennessean. The legendary fiddle player passed on while at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Daniels was born on October 28, 1936, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The artist is most known for his musical contributions to Southern Rock, country, and bluegrass music. Additionally, the instrumentalist, singer and songwriter had a long and multifaceted career in Nashville. Before he became famous in his own right, he played as a session musician on three of Bob Dylan’s albums, including Nashville Skyline. He also worked on recordings with The Beatles’ own Ringo Starr.

Of course, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” became Charlie Daniels biggest hit and he won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979. The single reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 during its run on the charts. Furthermore, after featuring in the hit John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy the song became a major crossover success on rock radio stations as well.

The prolific musician released 30 studio albums and a number of live albums and compilation albums during his lengthy career. He also featured in multiple TV shows and movies, and was once the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.