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‘American Idol’ alum Jordin Sparks to perform national anthem ahead of 108th Indianapolis 500

FILE - Jordin Sparks sings the national anthem before the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 24, 2015. Sparks will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year to sing the national anthem at the May 26 "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."(AP Photo/Sam Riche)

FILE - Jordin Sparks sings the national anthem before the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 24, 2015. Sparks will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year to sing the national anthem at the May 26 “Greatest Spectacle in Racing."(AP Photo/Sam Riche)

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jordin Sparks, the singer-songwriter who shot to stardom on “American Idol,” will perform the national anthem before the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.

Sparks also performed the anthem before “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2015.

“We know that Jordin’s voice and performance will deliver an emotional and stirring rendition of the national anthem as part of pre-race ceremonies for the Indy 500,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said Wednesday.

“The national anthem moment pays honor to the country we love, sets the stage for the hair-raising U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flyover, and gets us one step closer to those final, dramatic and electric moments leading up to the start of the Indianapolis 500.”

Sparks has won an American Music Award and People’s Choice Award and been nominated for a Billboard Award, Dove Award, two MTV Awards and two Grammys. She made her Broadway debut starring in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway smash “In the Heights” and her film debut playing the lead role in the film “Sparkle.”

The Indy 500 historically has had some of the biggest names in music perform the anthem, ranging from Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith to country star Martina McBride. Jewel performed the anthem last year.

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