Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison to perform “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Indy 500

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 21: Opera singer Jim Cornelison sings the national anthem prior to Game Two of the Western Conference Final between the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 21, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – For the past decade, he’s used to getting over 20,000 fans fired up before a hockey game inside an arena.

On May 28th, he’ll try to do so at a two-and-a-half mile oval with over 300,000 people on hand.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced on Tuesday that Blackhawks National Anthem singer Jim Cornelison will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.

“Jim Cornelison’s powerful tenor voice is one that most sports fans know and have heard in the United Center and on TV sets across the country,” said IMS president J. Doug Boles in a statement from the speedway. “We are thrilled to welcome him to IMS to perform the song that means so much to every Indianapolis 500 fan – whether they are from Indiana or otherwise – and we would like to thank the Blackhawks’ organization for working with us to allow Jim to be here for this most important pre-race tradition.”

The singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” is one of the many pre-race traditions for the event that began in 1911. Actor Jim Nabors made the song famous as he was the official performer from 1972 through 2014. Acapella group Straight No Chaser performed the song in 2015 with Josh Kaufmann having the honor in 2016.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to Indianapolis for the ‘500,’” said Cornelison in a statement through the speedway. “What a blast! And to be asked to sing ‘Back Home Again In Indiana’ is a special treat and honor. Thanks to the team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for thinking of me. I can’t wait for Race Day!”

Cornelison, who received his Masters in Music from Indiana Univeristy, has been the Blackhawks’ anthem singer since the 2008-2009 season. His performances along with the crowd’s loud cheers helped to restore the Blackhawks’ anthem tradition that was started in the early 1980s at Chicago Stadium.