An annual tradition at WrestleMania is to have a pop star or legendary singer open the show with a rendition of “America the Beautiful,” I guess because WWE was in on the ground floor of realizing that the national anthem is kind of unfun and tough to sing and corny? I dunno, there are probably reasons. In recent years, John Legend and Fifth Harmony have done the honors, but legends like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles have opened past WrestleManias. I know, right?
On Friday, WWE announced that this year’s “America the Beautiful” performer will be pop star Tinashe.
If you’ve listened to the radio at any point in the past couple years (and no worries if you haven’t; the radio isn’t really a thing anymore), you’ve almost certainly heard a Tinashe song. She had a huge hit with her debut single “2 On” in 2014. You know; this one:
Believe it or not, though, Tinashe actually started out as a child actor. Her earliest gigs were voice acting roles on the beloved and meme-dispensing Arthur series, and she had a part in Akeelah and the Bee and a recurring role on Two and a Half Men. She’s been more or less full-time with her music since dropping her debut album in 2014, and just this week, she dropped a new track, “Flame.”
Here is the full press release from WWE:
WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that platinum selling singer, songwriter, producer and entertainer Tinashe will perform “America the Beautiful,” kicking off WrestleMania 33 on Sunday, April 2 in front of a sold-out crowd at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida and live around the world on WWE Network at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.
“I’m excited to perform America the beautiful at this year’s WrestleMania,” said Tinashe. “Being part of WWE’s biggest event of the year is an honor and I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando.”
“Tinashe joins the likes of renowned artists Ray Charles, John Legend, Aretha Franklin, Nicole Scherzinger, and most recently Fifth Harmony, who have opened WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza,” said Neil Lawi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, WWE Music Group. “Tinashe will continue this great tradition and we look forward to her performance at this year’s WrestleMania.”
Yesterday, Tinashe released her brand new single, “Flame.” The track, which was produced by Sir Nolan, is available at all digital retail and streaming partners.
The release of “Flame” follows on the heels of Tinashe’s critically acclaimed Nightride project, released late last year. The 14-track project, a companion piece to her upcoming studio album, includes stand-out track “Company.” The song recently received an attention-grabbing video clip, a full-on dance assault, all done in one take. To view the video for “Company,” click here. Nightride is the first of a two-part series, which will include Tinashe’s sophomore studio album, Joyride.