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‘Dream gig!’ Michigan woman to sing National Anthem at Cotton Bowl game between Alabama and Cincinnati



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The voice tens of thousands of football fans will hear before kickoff of one of the biggest college football games of the year will be that of a Michigan woman. Sarah Faith will perform the National Anthem at the Cotton Bowl playoff game between Alabama and Cincinnati.

Faith, who says she literally took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville two years ago to pursue a music career, is about to have all eyes and ears on her at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Born in Rochester in Metro Detroit and raised in Lake Orion, Faith achieved her undergraduate degree at Alma College before earning her graduate degree at Oakland University. She had become a pretty successful professional photographer in the area before taking a chance at becoming a singer/songwriter.

“I was in a country/classic rock cover band in Michigan for about a year and there were so many random people, strangers, who kept asking me if I had considered a solo career,” Faith told MLive after her exhausting 11-hour drive to Dallas from Nashville ahead of the big game. “I thought it was a crazy suggestion, especially coming from people I didn’t even know.”

In August 2019, she moved from Michigan to Nashville and has been making noise on the music scene ever since. Faith, who describes her musical style as rock and Americana, released her first album, “Lessons From the Archives” this past June consisting of mostly songs she wrote herself and recorded with producer Ben Miller. Her album can be purchased via iTunes, or Amazon.

Faith will perform the National Anthem right before the 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff of the nationally televised college football semifinal playoff game on Friday, Dec. 31. The game is on ESPN, which is expected to air the anthem. Faith says she still can’t believe she got this gig, but is thankful for the huge opportunity.

“So, I released my album and then I got one of those targeted Facebook ads. It was for a contest run by Goodyear. I submitted a song. It was the latest single off my album. I also answered some questions. Well, two months later, I learned I was a top three finalist. I’m like, you’ve gotta be kidding me! I was up against two bands from Cleveland and Goodyear is in Akron. I thought I had no chance. Somehow, I won.”

After Faith won the “From Garage to Glory” contest run by Goodyear and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she says she was invited to perform at the Rock Hall in Cleveland and at the Hard Rock in Nashville at a NASCAR event. She will also be performing at “Cotton Bowl Live,” which precedes the Cotton Bowl game.

“Things are exploding for me, but I just take every opportunity as they come. I’m just here for the ride. I’m very thankful for every step that has been happening so far. I just feel so blessed.”

This won’t be the first time Faith has performed the National Anthem. A high school and college athlete, Faith used to perform the song before many of her own games.

“I’ve sang the anthem my whole life, actually. Growing up playing soccer, I sang it at my own games. I would run to the press box after they did the starting lineups and sing it. I also did the same thing in college at Oakland when I worked there. I never dreamed it would bring me to this point in my life or singing it so much would come in handy for a moment like this.”

Faith says she is currently working on her second album, which she hopes to release sometime next summer. She says she loves performing gigs with her band and plans to do as many full band shows as she can. After the release of her second album, she says she will just see where her music continues to take her.

“I literally wake up in the morning and I don’t know what’s going on in my own life. It’s not about me. It’s about my music making an impact. Music is therapy. I feel very fortunate and I just hope if anyone is seeing what I do, that they are inspired to do what they want to do. You just have to dare to do it.”

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