The United States Air Force Band, in partnership with MGM National Harbor, presents A Salute to Service: Honoring America’s Heroes. This concert will feature Country Superstars Chris Janson and Kellie Pickler, along with guest emcee Malika Andrews, and Max Impact, the premier rock band of the United States Air Force.
Breakout country star Chris Janson is a platinum-selling recording artist, high-octane entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, and award-winning singer/songwriter. In the five years since the release of his debut album, the three-time CMA nominee has collected prestigious accolades that place him amongst country music greats. He took home the trophy for ACM Video of the Year for his Gold-certified, inspiring hit song “Drunk Girl,” which also earned the Song of the Year title at the 2018 MusicRow Awards and was named one of the “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” by NSAI. His chart-topping, double-Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” earned the same NSAI honor, making him one in a handful of the industry’s most elite artists to earn the title multiple times, as well as the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year. Now it’s onto new music for Janson: “Good Vibes,” the flagship single from his new album Real Friends recently became his third No. 1 at country radio and his current single “Done” was most-added upon impact. In addition to his own successes, the talented songwriter has lent his pen to industry peers including Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah,” “How I’ll Always Be”), LOCASH (“I Love This Life”) and the legendary Hank Williams Jr. (“God Fearin’ Man,” “Those Days Are Gone”). Janson’s hits include “Buy Me a Boat”, “Fix a Drink” & “Good Vibes”. http://www.chrisjanson.com
Kellie Pickler, singer/actress/producer, grew up immersed in country music in the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina with the words of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing. At the age of 19, she gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of “American Idol.” In 2006, she signed with 19 Recordings/BNA Records and released her debut album, Small Town Girl, which has gone on to sell more than 900,000 copies worldwide and produce three hit singles: “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” She followed that in 2008 with her self-titled sophomore record, featuring country radio hits “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life” (co-written with Taylor Swift and her first Top 10) and “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.” Having established herself as not only a powerful vocalist but also a songwriter, Pickler released her third studio album, 100 Proof, in 2011 to huge critical acclaim. The album was named the No. 1 Country Album of The Year by Rolling Stone and listed on the “Best of 2012” by The Washington Post. In Spring 2013, Pickler partnered with dance coach Derek Hough and won the Mirror Ball Trophy on “Dancing with the Stars.” That same year, she also released her fourth album, The Woman I Am, which featured three songs co-written by Pickler including the title cut and “Selma Drye” which Pickler also launched into her trademark home-goods line with the Grand Ole Opry. Kellie voiced the lead character, a singing sweet potato named Mirabelle, in the Veggie Tales animated movie “Beauty and the Beet” in 2014 and for Nickelodeon (2016) she voiced a lead character in the wildly popular series “Shimmer & Shine.” Kellie has been a proud representative of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame since 2016.
Kellie took on the role as executive producer on her CMT docu-comedy series “I Love Kellie Pickler” which co-starred her husband, songwriter/producer Kyle Jacobs. The series debuted in November 2015, propelling the network to its highest premiere with adults since 2012 and women since 2008. The hit television series returned for a second season in August 2016. The lively and dynamic Pickler went on to co-host two seasons of the multi-Emmy nominated syndicated daytime show “Pickler & Ben” with executive producer Faith Hill.
In 2018, Kellie made her Hallmark Channel debut with “Christmas at Graceland,” their highest-rated movie in history and most-watched movie of the year, playing the film’s lead, Laurel: a finance executive who rediscovers her passion for singing; a role she reprised in the June 2019 sequel “Wedding at Graceland.” For the films, Kellie recorded and performed beloved Christmas songs including: “Silent Night,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Joy To The World,” and Elvis Presley hits “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Hound Dog.” In-between touring, Kellie filmed her third Hallmark Channel movie “The Mistletoe Secret,” airing in November 2019.
Recently, Pickler recorded “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” the closing theme of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” for the Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music and Memories special album project released October of 2019.
Pickler is an avid supporter of the U.S. military, having completed twelve USO Tours. She has been honored with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award, the USO Heart for the Warrior Award and the Chris Kyle Patriot Award.
Malika Andrews is an NBA Reporter covering the league nationally, whose work appears across ESPN platforms including ESPN.com, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio. Andrews made her debut as a sideline reporter during the 2019-20 season at the ESPN World of Sports Complex in Florida, serving as a sideline reporter throughout the NBA Playoffs. Andrews was one of the first reporters on ground to report from the NBA’s temporary Florida campus after the league’s decision to resume the season following a 4 month hiatus due to outbreak of COVID-19.
Prior to joining ESPN in October 2018, Andrews worked for one year as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Prior to joining the Tribune, Andrews worked for one year as a James Reston Reporting Fellow in the sports department at The New York Times.
Highlights from her newspaper career include traveling to Lake Tahoe as part of a team of journalists that reconstructed the events between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. She also reported on the impact of the Sonoma County wildfires on the equine industry during fall 2017. Additionally, Andrews has covered a Super Bowl, and looked at how the Larry Nassar sexual assault case affected children’s gymnastics.
A native of Oakland, Calif., Andrews attended the University of Portland, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree and graduated with honors. While at the University of Portland, Andrews served as the editor-in-chief of The Beacon, the university’s student newspaper. She received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for her work. In 2016, Andrews won the Best Writer Award among Oregon college students.
Andrews is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and sits on the NABJ Sports Task Force Scholarship Committee.
Max Impact is the premier rock band of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that form The U.S. Air Force Band. This six-piece band performs classic and current rock and country hits, as well as patriotic favorites and original music. Through national tours, local performances and digital audio and video recordings, Max Impact showcases Air Force excellence to millions each year. Back at home, they support events for the White House, State Department, Department of Defense and numerous other high-level military and civilian functions, using music to advance international diplomacy with America’s allies and strategic partners. https://www.music.af.mil/Bands/The-United-States-Air-Force-Band/Ensembles/Max-Impact/