Before Texas Christian University and Kansas State took the gridiron for the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Football Championship at the AT&T Stadium, Ashanti stood center field to sing the national anthem.
Although the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has no ties to either school, she is familiar with singing national anthems. Earlier this year, Ashanti sang the national anthem before the Cincinnati Bengals took on the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC Championship on Jan. 30. Despite experiencing microphone malfunctions, fans in the crowd helped her out during the performance.
Her history with performing for sports fans doesn’t end there. She performed the national anthem in 2008 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles before game five of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. In 2014, she delivered the patriotic song at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. Four years later, the New York native delivered the national anthem in her home state in 2018 before the Knicks faced off against the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden; she also performed the anthem again that year in Atlanta ahead of the MLS All-Star Game.
Belting the national anthem isn’t the only thing the Hollywood Walk of Fame recipient has been up to recently. On Oct. 28, Ashanti dropped a new single, “Falling for You,” co-written and produced by Yung Bleu. She also revealed to Angie Martinez that she’s been filming a new movie in Canada.
“It’s a combination of knowing where I came from, knowing where I’ve been, knowing where I’m going, where I wanna go, and just being independent and being a woman in this very crazy, cutthroat industry,” the “Happy” singer shared on Martinez’s “IRL” podcast. “I’m always tryna beat myself, so that’s where it comes from.”
Ashanti’s forthcoming movie isn’t the only film project she’s working on. In September 2021, she announced that she will star in another upcoming film, The Plus One, alongside Cedric the Entertainer, Julissa Bermudez, B.J. Britt, Jonathan Bennett, and Michelle Hurd. No release dates have been shared for either film as of yet.
Watch Ashanti sing the national anthem before the Big 12 Championship Game below.