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Press Release

College Football Playoff Announces National Championship Pregame Entertainment

IRVING, Texas – The College Football Playoff (CFP) today announced a star-studded lineup for pregame festivities during the College Football Playoff National Championship, Monday, January 11, 2016, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

On the field before the game, Ciara has the honor of singing the National Anthem and Canaan Smith will perform “America the Beautiful.”

Country music singer and songwriter Eric Church will headline Championship Tailgate, taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain time. He will perform on the Capital One Quicksilver Music Stage. Church’s releases include, the ACM and CMA Award-winning Album of the Year, Chief, his second Billboard overall number one album, The Outsiders, and his recent surprise release, Mr. Misunderstood, which has been hailed as an instant classic.He has 17 Top-20 singles on the Billboard charts, including “Drink in My Hand,” “Springsteen” and “Talladega.”

Opening for Eric Church will be one of Nashville’s most exciting live acts, Moon Taxi, who have lit up stages over the past year at Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Hangout Festival, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, performing songs from their three albums, including their latest, the critically-acclaimed Daybreaker.

The interactive area adjacent to University of Phoenix Stadium will allow fans to gather and enjoy games, sponsor activities, concessions and ESPN broadcast sets. The event is free for all ticket holders attending the national championship game.

Canaan Smith, named 2015 Artist To Watch by The Huffington Post, USA Today, Yahoo! Music, Spotify and Rolling Stone, will perform “America the Beautiful.” On the heels of his first number one single “Love You Like That,” Smith released his debut full-length album Bronco earlier this year, followed by the headlining “Stompin’ Grounds Tour.”

Accompanying Smith’s performance will be a group of elite vocalists from “Encore,” the touring ensemble of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus, which facilitates artistic, musical, and cultural development through choral education and performance.

Prior to kickoff, GRAMMY Award-winner Ciara will sing the Star-Spangled Banner. The singer, songwriter, actress and producer has sold over seven million albums and 16 million singles worldwide. Her single, “I Bet” from her current album Jackie is certified Platinum. She has 27 charted singles and released her sixth studio album, Jackie earlier this year. Ciara will embark on the second leg of her North American Jackie Tour in March, 2016.

Pregame, halftime and postgame pageantry will be produced by Michael T. Fiur Productions, one of the leading producers of live event and sports spectaculars in the world.

On-field, pregame festivities on January 11, will begin at 5:45 p.m. Mountain time.  The game will feature the winner of the Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl against the winner of the Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the official hashtag #CFBPlayoff. For more information on the College Football Playoff and the national championship game, visit