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Gladys Knight to sing national anthem at Raiders home opener

Updated September 11, 2021 - 11:46 am

Las Vegas crowds have taken to shouting “Knight!” during the national anthem, a roar of support for the Vegas Golden Knights. Monday, a Knight is again in play. But this one’s performing the rendition.

Entertainment legend Gladys Knight is singing the first national anthem for a regular-season, full-capacity Las Vegas Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium. The game is broadcast to millions across the country on “Monday Night Football.” As Knight closes the song, a team of F-35A fighter jets from the United States Air Force 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron (422 TES) out of Nellis Air Force Base will perform a flyover in formation over “The Death Star” then soar past the Strip.

Knight has headlined on the Strip since the 1960s, and has a home in Las Vegas. Also, her brother Bubba Knight, an original member of the her backup group the Pips, still lives in town.

“This is quite an honor for me to be chosen to sing the national anthem for this historic first Raiders’ season opening Monday Night Football game in Las Vegas with fans,” Knight, known as the “Empress of Soul,” said in a statement.

Knight also sang the national anthem in February 2019, before the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams met Super Bowl LIII in her original hometown of Atlanta. She has won seven Grammy awards, and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

“The Raiders are like family to me, and I’ve been a Raiders fan for decades,” Knight said. “To be able to honor our country, the Raiders team and my home of Las Vegas by singing the Anthem, it is just so special.”

Singer returns 

Stephanie Sanchez, a Las Vegas native and long a favorite on the city’s entertainment scene, is due to return to her executive post at MGM Resorts International on Sept. 20. Sanchez had been in charge of all bookings of non-ticketed venues in the company until COVID wiped out her position in 2020.

Sanchez spent nine years as the vocalist in “Fantasy” at Luxor, leaving the show in 2009. She has been “gigging” around her new hometown of Pahrump during most of the pandemic. Her daughter, Shelby Jordan, is a dancer in “MJ Live” at The Strat and also danced in in “Fantasy” in 2018. Thus Stephanie and Shelby are the first mom-daughter tandem ever to appear in the show.

Kelley and the ‘X’

Pinup model and stage performer Sabina Kelley is guest star of “X Country” at Harrah’s Cabaret. Kelley has performed in “Jubilee!” at Bally’s, and more recently “Pin Up” at The Strat. She also joined “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo in February 2020.

Muzik moves

The “Love Muzik” R&B show was almost onsale at Westgate before that deal unraveled. It was onsale at Thomas & Mack Center until that booking, too, unwound. But the show is being performed at GST Studios at 4301 S Valley View Blvd. at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Producer and musician De’Miyon Hall, who was music director and drummer for Knight for a decade, is producing the show under his his company, The Muzik Firm. The plans for T&M came apart, he said, because of “COVID” protocols, which he learned of Thursday. The Saturday event still features musicians, dancers and singers and is being used as a forum for investors.

Cool Hang Alert

“The Fabulous Beatles Show” tribute to you-know-who, plays Italian American Showroom at 6:30 p.m. (dinner), show at 8 p.m. Sunday. The place rocks. Hit the iacvegas.com website for details.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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