Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/26/06 at 03:20 PM ET
Most of you are familiar with Karen Newman, the official National Anthem singer at Detroit Red Wings home games.
Karen was kind enough to answer a few questions I had for her.
Karen, how long have you been singing at the Red Wing games and how did you get the job?
Karen Newman: Approximately 14 seasons. I was spotted by the Red Wings organization singing for the Detroit Pistons and was invited to sing for the Wings.
Atanas Ilitch then offered me the exclusive position with the Wings and I've been with them ever since. It is a real honor.
Were you a hockey fan before becoming the anthem singer, and growing up, were you involved in athletics at all?
KN: Always loved Red Wing hockey. Grew up watching them on TV (or hearing my dad watch while we were supposed to be sleeping).
Although I can't skate (surprised) I was involved with athletics growing up (cheerleading, Captain of Grand Blanc High School Swim Team - I was a diver).
Who is your favorite non-Wing player, and has any player said anything to you that stands out after singing the anthem?
KN: Favorite non Wing player is Sergei Fedorov (wish he was still a Wing).
No, never had much conversation with any of the players over all these years. Made some cool eye contact with ex Wings players who we played against- Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood (welcome back), Darren McCarty. They have given me a smile before I sing which puts me in a nice mood. That has meant a lot to me.
A little background on what is coming up for Karen Newman. Any tours in the future, etc....
KN: Just finished a successful Christmas concert at Andiamo's Celebrity Showroom. That was fun!
Looking to play this Spring/Summer with the same great band. May be recording some new material soon.....stay tuned to my website
What is favorite sport?
What one thing do you want to do career wise that you have not done yet?
KN: One of my dreams is to host my own mid morning or afternoon talk show on television.
I have to ask, have you ever forgotten the words to the anthem?
KN: Never (thank God) forgotten the words to the national anthem but zoned out once and stuttered on one of the lyrics.....close!
My one request, when a Canadian team visits the Joe, can you sing part of the Canadian Anthem in French like they do in Toronto and Montreal?
KN: I'm not sure the U.S. audience would respond positively to my singing part of the Canadian Anthem in French. I, like you, think it sounds beautiful done in French. Hmmmm.....maybe I'll consider it.
What do you do or go when you need to get away for a bit?
KN: My favorite get away is Scottsdale, AZ to visit my twin sister, Kathy. We do the whole resort, yoga, shopping, clubbing "thing". Not in that order!
With your busy schedule, has there ever been a time where you just made it to the Joe to sing the anthem? If so, what were the circumstances?
KN: I run late for EVERYTHING in my life...Hey I was born second after my twin!
Closest I've come is 13 seconds on the clock. Scary! This season, my Executive Assistant, Stacia makes sure I'm down to the Joe on time.
Do you ever have a chance to talk with the other anthem singers in the different cities? Is there someone you most admire in another city?
KN: I've met the anthem singer for the Coyotes. Nice guy! Great voice!
Anything else we should now about you, that maybe hockey fans don't know?
KN: I love hockey, rock and roll and my twins, Kylie and Dylan!
I have no tattoos or strange body piercings...I have a hot temper but prefer
loving to fighting. Unless I'm waiting 24. Jack Baur kicks ass!
Once again, thanks to Karen for taking time out from her very busy schedule to answer my questions.
Thanks to her, the Wings games always start out on the right note!
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