Grammy Award-winning artist Lee Greenwood performed his signature classic “God Bless the U.S.A.” to the delight of the thousands in attendance at a campaign rally featuring President Donald Trump in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sunday night.
Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, stopped in the Volunteer State in support of U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, who is locked in a close race with with former Tennessee Democratic governor Phil Bredesen.
As the president took the stage at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Greenwood sang his famous patriotic ballad, which has been a fixture at Trump rallies since the New York businessman launched his candidacy in 2015.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018
The 12,000-strong in attendance were on their feet and singing along as their fellow Tennessean performed the song that made him a household name in the 1980s.
Greenwood, 76, also sang “God Bless The U.S.A.” at Trump’s inauguration concert in January 2017, accompanied by The Frontmen of Country.
The song first charted in the top 10 (reaching No. 7 on Billboard’s country singles chart) following its release in 1984.
That same year, Greenwood was invited to perform the tune at the Republican National Convention in Houston with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan in attendance.
Seventeen years later, the singer took center stage again at Yankee Stadium in 2001 during the World Series, offering an emotional rendition of the song just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The ballad rode a wave of patriotic sentiment after 9/11, charting near the top again among country songs and reaching No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
In a 2016 interview, Greenwood talked about the motivation behind the song.
“I wanted to write it my whole life,” he told The Boot. “When I got to that point, we were doing 300 days a year on the road, and we were on our fourth or fifth album on MCA. I called my producer, and I said, ‘I have a need to do this.’ I’ve always wanted to write a song about America, and I said, ‘We just need to be more united.'”
“When I put it onstage … I think it was the fall of ’83,” Greenwood recalled. “I put it in the middle of the show, just as a brand-new song. Wow, it was like the audience jumped up, and they were applauding … I did it for about two weeks like that, and then I had to put it at the end of the show as an encore; I couldn’t follow it.”
The Washington Examiner reported that Greenwood also is scheduled to join Trump in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday, where the president will be campaigning for Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
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