Janine Stange is originally from the East Coast. She moved to the West Coast eight years ago. In LA terms, that’s practically enough time to be considered a native. Not only has she has she moved from coast to coast, as of last year, she has literally gone from coast to coast. Perhaps, in her case, the better phrase would be ‘from sea to shining sea.’ On August, 28, 2014 she became the first person ever to sing the Star Spangled Banner in every single state. The effort was all heart – no corporate backer, no booking agent, or publicist – she just blazed a trail that led her to make history – and national headlines along the way. You may have seen her on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt or Fox & Friends.
Tell us about your mission and how it came about.
My mission was – and still is – to promote patriotism and honor for our nation’s heroes. Our National Anthem is a perfect vehicle for that. I always would sing it whenever, and wherever I could. One day, I realized I had sung it in about seven states so I figured, hey – why not go for all 50! I had no idea what I was in for but I would do it all over again. I say this a lot, but it’s true: for 90 seconds, no matter who you vote for, or what team you want to win – when we are singing the Star Spangled Banner – we are one nation…and there is power in that moment.
After I sang, I set up and table and provided blank thank you cards for people to sign. It was so touching to watch people put their cell phones aside, pick up a pen and take five minutes to write something that came from their heart to a deployed soldier. Each card, (literally thousands), went into an Operation Gratitude care package. I still have those tables whenever I sing. They are priceless.
What are some venues and events you’ve sung at?
NASCAR, Titans, Orioles, Reds, Tigers, Knicks, LA Kings, Arlington Cemetery, September 11 Museum and Memorial, aboard the USS Missouri in Hawaii, from the ‘Center of the Universe’ in Wallace, Idaho, on a plane 30,000 feet above the country on a flight! I’ve opened for The Band Perry in Florida, Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden.
Tell us one of the most memorable performances:
There are so many – each performance has it’s own story. For instance, on the National Anthem’s 200th Anniversary (9/14/14) I got to sing at Fort McHenry, at the flagpole – which is what Francis Scott Key was looking at when he was inspired to write the words that would become the Star Spangled Banner. An hour later, the US Coast Guard took me out on Cutter Ibis and I got to sing it from the “Star Spangled Buoy” which marks approximate the location from where his boat was when he saw our flag was still there. That happened on September 14, 2014 – the National Anthem’s 200th Anniversary. It was surreal.
What’s next for you?
I’m still singing all over the country at sporting events and corporate events. I’m also being asked to speak in an effort to spread the message of inspiration that I was so fortunate to have received during my 50 state tour. Most recently, I have joined the efforts of the Boot Campaign, (see page 18), and I was a part of their most recent celebrity shoot. It is so much fun to tell stories about the journey and share the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I just got back from Chicago, where I spoke for Jelly Belly’s national sales meeting, and can’t wait for my next speaking event. I’m also writing a book which is geared towards young girls – sort of like a travel journal that weaves lessons into the stories from all fifty states.
To learn more about Janine Stange or schedule her to sing or speak at your event, visit: NationalAnthemGirl.org
Connect with her: facebook.com/NationalAnthemGirl.
Janine can also be heard every Thursday at 6:30 am PST on Sirius XM’s 60’s on 6. She and Phlash Phelps highlight one state a week in a segment called: called #AnthemInAll50 Phlashback.