The NBA has announced seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer Gladys Knight, who is also a graduate of the one of the oldest HBCUs in the nation Shaw University, will sing the US national anthem at NBa All-Star 2021.
GRAMMY Award winner and singer-songwriter Alessia Cara will sing the Canadian national anthem from Toronto. The anthems will occur before the 70th NBA All-Star Game, which will have the AT&T Slam Dunk contest at halftime.
Throughout the All-Star Game, the league will tribute HBCUs through music, content, and storytelling, including an original rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir. The rendition will honor NAACP leader and Black national anthem songwriter James Weldon Johnson, who is also a Clark Atlanta alumnus.
During player introductions, Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band and Florida A&M University Marching 100 will play during NBA All-Star player introductions from their respective historical campuses. Throughout the game, members of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities, a prestigious group of nine historically Black Greek letter organizations, will introduce Atlanta’s most reputable step teams from Spelman College and Morehouse College.
The NBA All-Star Game and skills competitions will happen during the same night for the first time. TNT’s coverage will begin at 5 pm ET, followed by the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest starting at 6:30 pm ET.