The MLB All-Star Home Run Derby rarely serves up much drama, but Marlana VanHoose delivered the feels with a stellar performance of the Star Spangled Banner. VanHoose, who lives with cerebral palsy and overcame a childhood illness that left her blind, has become the newest queen of the national anthem since her performance at a University of Kentucky Women’s basketball game in 2012.
After garnering even greater attention when she sang our nation’s theme song at Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals, the teenage vocal phenom was the clear choice to initiate the festivities in Cincinnati. And of course, she nailed it.
It’s safe to say that America has been waiting since the Whitney Houston days for another singer who can always kick our sports pride into high gear. After decades of suffering through Christina Aguilera and Steven Tyler lyrics-flubs, Marlana VanHoose is finally making the start of an American televised sporting event enjoyable again.
Even the internet agrees.
What a National Anthem! Marlana Vanhoose is awesome.
— Reds Baseball (@RedsChat2015) July 14, 2015
National Anthem ….. ✔️ nailed #HomeRunDerby
— Alexis (@AlexxisJoan) July 14, 2015
That girl sings the National Anthem better than every famous singer I've ever heard. #HomeRunDerby
— Alex Wasson (@Alex_Wass) July 14, 2015