High schooler takes off his helmet, grabs a guitar and sings national anthem

Jackson Dean Nicholson, a high school senior and defensive end at Arundel High School in Maryland, captivated the local audience and thousands of internet users with his passionate rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner a few years ago.

A Bold Choice

Before a school game, when no one else was available to sing the national anthem, Nicholson made a bold decision. Instead of opting for a pre-recorded tape or relying on the audience, he took the field alone, armed only with an acoustic guitar and a microphone, to sing the American national anthem.

In an unexpected turn of events, he delivered one of the most impressive performances, winning hearts and creating a viral phenomenon that continues to resonate even years after its initial posting in 2018.

Nicholson commented on the experience, “It was very cool. I probably knew 90 percent of the people sitting in those stands, and they had no idea I was doing it ’til I brought my guitar out.”

A Musician at Heart

Although recognized as a senior defensive end during his five minutes of fame, Jackson Dean Nicholson’s true passion lies in music. Throughout high school, he had been writing and performing songs, and at the time of the viral video, he was working on his own album.

Choosing the stage name “Jackson Dean” to avoid confusion with the well-known actor Jack Nicholson, the young musician was determined to pursue his musical ambitions after high school. He expressed his decision to focus on music, saying, “This is my final year, then I’m done. I’ll have completed all of my credits by the time January rolls around, and I only need to be enrolled for this semester. My principal granted me a waiver, and she is very supportive of what I do. I’m going to go for it.”

An Unforgettable Performance

Jackson Dean Nicholson’s outstanding performance of the national anthem continues to inspire and amaze viewers. Despite the passage of time, the video remains powerful, showcasing his remarkable talent and passion for music.

His heartfelt rendition touched the hearts of many, and we encourage everyone to watch and share this extraordinary moment.


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