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Saturday
Aug162014

Smokey Robinson and Kenny Rogers to Help Mark 200th Anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Autumn de Wilde/Verve Records; Piper Ferguson/Webster PRMost of music's big stars, at one time or another, have been tapped to sing our national anthem at a sporting event.  Now, a group of them -- including Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers and Melissa Etheridge -- are getting together to wish a happy 200th birthday to "The Star-Spangled Banner" in an upcoming PBS special.

The two-hour live broadcast, Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem, will air as part of the PBS series Great Performances on September 13, starting at 8 p.m. ET.  The show will originate from Baltimore, presumably because it's where Fort McHenry is located.  In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the anthem after watching the fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

Actor John Lithgow will co-host the event with former Amercian Idol winner Jordin Sparks, who also will sing during the show. In addition, the special will include performances by pop-rock act Train, country group Little Big Town and actress Kristen Chenoweth

It's not clear who, if anyone, will actually be singing the anthem during the telecast.


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ABC News Radio