A lifelong Yankees fan and a folk-rock crooner will sing the national anthem before the first two games of the World Series, launching tonight at Fenway Park between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
Major League Baseball announced earlier this week that Bronx native Mary J. Blige will handle the “Star-Spangled Banner” before game 1. She’s got experience with the tricky song, having sung the anthem at Yankee Stadium during the 2009 Series. For the second game, set for Thursday, loyal Sox fan James Taylor gets the honor, Billboard has confirmed.
UPDATE: Watch Mary J. Sing the Anthem at Game 1
PHOTOS: Musicians Throw The First Pitch
As previously reported by Billboard, the Fox telecasts of the Series will feature the music of Pearl Jam, to the tune of 48 songs, including their entire new album “Lightning Bolt,” which tops the Billboard 200 this week. Frontman Eddie Vedder has a friend in Fox broadcaster Joe Buck, the other voice you’ll hear plenty of during the Series.
“You’ll hear certain guys say they’re a Yankee fan or an NFL fan, and maybe they know some stuff but they’re not die-hards,” Buck told us. “This guy’s just a legit, die-hard baseball fan.”