Last Modified: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 6:31 PM
Hometown favorite and ‘American Idol’ finalist Joshua Ledet will sing the National Anthem before the McNeese State University football game against the University of Central Arkansas Saturday.
Candace Townsend, university spokeswoman, said Ledet’s Saturday performance came about rather suddenly.
“It wasn’t planned. He approached us about singing at a football game. It really came from him,” she said.
“The university chorus used to sing the National Anthem, but I can’t remember the last time a soloist did it.”
Ledet, a Westlake native, made it to the top three on the nationally televised talent competition “American Idol” — the first Louisianian to do so.
He was best known on the show for his renditions of “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” and “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
“We are very honored that Josh will be singing. This is a unique opportunity for our fans to hear a nationally acclaimed artist sing in their hometown. We are so proud of the success that he has had over the past year and the attention that he has brought to this area. He is truly a great ambassador for all of Southwest Louisiana,” said McNeese Athletic Director Tommy McClelland. “I personally am excited to hear him sing because I was out of town during the American Idol Concert at Burton. The only time I have ever voted for a participant was when Josh was competing.”
Ledet gained a large following in Southwest Louisiana during his time on the show. While the 11th season of “Idol” was airing, hundreds gathered each week in Westlake to cheer Ledet on and “Team Josh” shirts could be seen all around town.
With his sizable local fan base, McNeese could see a jump in ticket sales, but Townsend said she doesn’t know for sure.
“The McNeese-UCA game is usually pretty well attended because it’s a conference game,” she said. “I think it’s just tremendous that he reached out to us and wanted to do it. Everyone who is at the game will get to hear an American Idol finalist perform live and that’s kind of exciting.”
Tickets for the Red Beans and Rice Bowl game are still available by going to McNeeseSports.com or by calling the ticket office at 337-475-4MSU. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.