NEW YORK -- The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature an exciting mix of musical performers for the highly anticipated outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day, the National Hockey League announced today. The youngest among this year's performers will be Jackie Evancho, the 10-year old singing sensation from Pittsburgh who gained notoriety for her big voice on NBC's America's Got Talent. Evancho joins a line-up that includes Juno award-winning singer Steven Page, multi-platinum selling rock band Hinder and Pittsburgh-based rock band The Clarks.
"The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is as much a celebration of the host city as it is a celebration of the roots of the game," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing. "This year's performers have strong ties to hockey and to the city of Pittsburgh, which will add an extra level of excitement for fans at Heinz Field at home."
Jackie Evancho – U.S. national anthem
Steven Page (CAN anthem) / Jackie Evancho (US)
Evancho, a fan of her hometown Penguins, will perform the U.S. national anthem prior to the start of the game. Evancho became an instant star during her first on-air performance of Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" on the NBC talent show. Following her second place finish in the talent competition, she made numerous national TV appearances, gaining millions of fans. Soon after the November 16 release of her seasonal CD/DVD debut, O Holy Night (Columbia), the album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2, securing Evancho's position as 2010's top-selling debut artist and the youngest female solo artist to debut during the Soundscan era. Evancho recently received her first platinum certification by the RIAA in recognition of sales of more than 1 million.
Steven Page – Canadian national anthem
Singer Steven Page will perform the Canadian national anthem. A former lead singer and founding member of Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies, Page recently released his solo album, Page One (Anthem/Universal). Originally from Scarborough, Ontario, Page's music career spans more than 20 years, amassing top music honors including six Juno Awards, four MuchMusic Video Awards, two Billboard Music Award honors and two Grammy Award nominations.
"I'm honored to have been asked to sing the Canadian anthem at this year's NHL Winter Classic in the great outdoors in one of my favorite cities – Pittsburgh," said Page.
Hinder – pre-game
Multi-platinum selling rock band Hinder will open the historic outdoor game at Heinz Field with a live performance. Originally from Oklahoma City, the band has sold more than 3 million albums in the U.S. with their two previous releases, Extreme Behavior and Take It To The Limit. For the past five years, the band has toured the world continuously, reinvigorating the rock community with its infectious party lifestyle. Hinder's epic 2006 debut album, Extreme Behavior, became a mainstay on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts for more than 70 weeks, launching five successful singles, including the multi-format No. 1 smash hit, "Lips Of An Angel." Their sophomore release, Take It To The Limit (Universal), debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and included hits "Use Me" and the Top 40 smash and video hit, "Without You." Hinder's third studio album, All American Nightmare (Universal), was released on December 7, 2010 and debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and No. 6 on the iTunes Singles Chart. The first single, "All American Nightmare," is a Top 10 track at Rock Radio and the video has more than 500,000 views on Vevo and YouTube.
"We are thrilled to be a part of such a special and unique event. It will be an honor for us to be able to perform in front of 68,000 people at Heinz Field," said lead singer Austin Winkler. This will be an experience we will never forget!"
The Clarks – first intermission
Born out of the Pittsburgh region, The Clarks have been making music for almost 25 years, selling out venues across the country and performing on a variety of TV shows including the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2009, The Clarks released their first full length album in five years, Restless Days (Clark House Ent/Fontana). Featuring their signature sound of straight-ahead, guitar-driven rock, the album included a rollicking cover of "What A Wonderful World," which was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Penguins and used as part of the marketing campaign for their 2008-09 Stanley Cup winning season. Restless Days earned the band its highest ever Billboard chart debut and they were dubbed "Pittsburgh's finest rock band" by USA TODAY. Most recently, the band released an EP called Songs In G which features reworked versions of a few of their classic songs as chosen by fans. The Pittsburgh City Council has declared December 29, 2010 "The Clarks Day" as the band will celebrate their 2000th show that night at Pittsburgh's newest venue, Stage AE.
"The Clarks are thrilled to be Pittsburgh's musical ambassadors for this year's Winter Classic," said bassist Greg Joseph. "It's an honor to be a part of such an amazing sporting event and to give it a little hometown flavor."