Longtime Predators Singer Frustrated at Being Pushed Out by Country Stars
The list of country superstars who have been performing the National Anthem ahead of the Nashville Predators' home games during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs has hit a nerve with the team's regular anthem singer, Dennis K. Morgan.
Morgan opened up to the Tennessean newspaper to air his grievances about being replaced by Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum and Vince Gill to sing the anthem at recent games. Morgan has held the special gig for nearly 20 years — since he moved to Nashville. According to Morgan, he has been questioned often about his lack of presence at the start of the game recently, and he admits he, too, is disappointed.
"I'm not going to hide my disappointment and I told the Predators that I have been asked the same question over and over and it's just really getting old," the local singer admits. "Everywhere I go — obviously at my day job (as a healthcare IT recruiting manager) and at (Bridgestone) arena as well as everywhere else I go to church, grocery stores, on the street, in meetings and in restaurants — people want to know how I feel."
Underwood requested to sing the National Anthem during Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 17, which Morgan says was presented to him as a "one night only kind of thing." Though frustrated by the situation, the longtime NHL singer says there's no hard feelings between him and the country superstars.
"I don't blame Carrie Underwood or Luke Bryan or any of the other acts who have performed. I've been as good-natured as I can be," he insists.
The Nashville Predators have also issued an official statement in response to Morgan's public complaint, saying they have "always valued" the singer and that their arrangement allows the team to feature other music acts. They also say the presence of the superstar singers "has been overwhelmingly positive, bringing national and international exposure to our community while continuing to set our game experience and atmosphere apart from others in professional sports."
The Predators will hit the ice at home in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday (May 16) for Game 3 of the series against the Anaheim Ducks.
Watch Luke Bryan Sing the National Anthem at the Predators Game
See Country Stars Dressed in Red, White & Blue