While Baltimore fans shout the iconic “O” during the national anthem at Ravens games this fall, a new voice will be belting out the patriotic song.
Joey Odoms, 25, a member of the Maryland Army National Guard and a Baltimore native, successfully auditioned against eight finalists on July 15 at M&T Bank Stadium. He replaces former Ravens national anthem singer, Mishael Miller, who left the area to preach in Birmingham, AL and sang for the team for 18 years.
“Right now I’m really at a loss for words,” Odoms told baltimoreravens.com. “I’m ready to start singing for my city.”
Odoms, who grew up in Reservoir Hill, actually attended the Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church, where Miller was the choir director, which inspired him to start singing himself—both in his everyday life and large-scale military gatherings abroad.
In February, when Odoms was stationed in Afghanistan, he got a chance to meet Ravens coach John Harbaugh and told him that he wanted to be the next Ravens national anthem singer.
Months later, his rendition of the anthem impressed the judges and made him stand out.
“His voice is pure,” Kevin Byrne, Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations, told baltimoreravens.com. “His presentation of the anthem is respectful, powerful, and done with reverence.”
The new vocalist will make his game debut on Aug. 7 when the Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in their first preseason game at 7:30 p.m.
Click here to watch Odom’s winning audition and see his first audition, live from Afghanistan, below.