Kentucky Derby 2021: Watch Tori Kelly Deliver Breathtaking National Anthem Performance

by Joe Rutland

Talented singer and songwriter Tori Kelly provided a glorious start ahead of the Kentucky Derby by performing the National Anthem.

Kelly dressed up for Derby Day at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The Grammy Award-winning singer definitely brings her “A” game on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Here’s Kelly providing an all-American opening to the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Performer Captures Two Grammy Awards In 2019 For Gospel Music

Leading up to her Kentucky Derby performance, Kelly won her two Grammys in 2019 for “Best Gospel Album” and “Best Gospel Performance/Song.” The album is titled “Hiding Place” and the song is “Never Alone,” which she sings along with Gospel music legend Kirk Franklin. Her album also won “Best Gospel Album” honors at the Billboard Music Awards in 2019.

But she’s also been making television appearances in recent years, too. Fans of “The Masked Singer” might recall Kelly appearing as the “Seahorse” in 2020. For the 19th season of “American Idol,” she’s appearing as a mentor to competitors.

Viewers tuning into the Kentucky Derby may recognize her for those accomplishments, but if they didn’t, they certainly know her name now.

Singer, Songwriter Develops Own Music, Posts Videos On YouTube

Back in 2003, she competed on “Star Search.” In 2004, Kelly was on “America’s Most Talented Kid.”

Kelly never reached the “final 24” on “American Idol.” Yet that didn’t deter her at all. She spent time learning how to play the guitar, write songs, and post videos on YouTube. Kelly reportedly gained 1 million followers in a short period of time.

Her creativity and a 2012 self-made EP called “Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly” got the attention of recording manager Scooter Braun. Braun would introduce Kelly to Capitol Records’ executives and she signed a deal with the recording label.

All of this work led up to Saturday’s incredible National Anthem performance at the Kentuccky Derby.

Kelly Gets Ready To Release New EP ‘Solitude’ To The World

According to her website, Kelly is getting ready to release another EP called “Solitude.”

“This year’s ‘Solitude’ EP is the beginning of a new, happier chapter for Kelly, even if the circumstances in which it was created weren’t ideal,” according to her website. “Self-recorded at home during the spring 2020 quarantine, the five-song effort sports a fresh musical outlook inspired by both the ’90s R&B she grew up with and her early days as an earnest, guitar-toting singer-songwriter.”

“‘I’ve never been more thankful for my home studio than I have during this season of being quarantined,'” Kelly says on her site. “In some ways, it felt like I was going back to my roots, back when I would be in my room making songs and posting covers on YouTube.”

She’s coming full circle in her career and giving TV viewers a memory from the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.