Brett Eldredge to sing anthem at Bears-Jags

Brett Eldredge will sing the national anthem at the Bears-Jaguars game Sunday. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The first time country singer Brett Eldredge performed the national anthem for his favorite team, the Chicago Bears, was Jan. 2, 2011, against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

"It was such a historic place, and I was there with my dad. It was so cool for him because he always wanted to go there," Eldredge said. "The only problem was it was absolutely freezing. It was 5 degrees. It's hard to sing in that kind of weather!"

Today, things will be much differently for Eldredge, who will sing the anthem in Jacksonville, Fla., as his Bears play the Jacksonville Jaguars. It's scheduled to be 88 degrees and sunny.

"There is a no better feeling than singing the anthem," Eldredge said. "That song and 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' are probably the first two songs I learned."

Eldredge grew up in the small town of Paris, Ill., about an hour southeast of Champaign. He played sports, mostly basketball, and often would travel to Chicago to watch the Cubs or other teams.

While going to school at Elmhurst College in a Chicago suburb, Eldredge visited Nashville, Tenn., to see his cousin play at the historic Station Inn. Eldredge was brought up on stage and sang a little bit.

"At that moment, I just fell in love with country music and I became hooked," said Eldredge, who transferred to Middle Tennessee State and began writing music. "I knew I had to learn more about the craft."

And Monday his new single, "Don't Ya," will hit radio. His debut album will be released next year.

You can check out his videos on YouTube, titled Couch Sessions.

"I'd just be sitting on my couch and jam, so I figured why not start recording it and putting it online?" Eldredge said. "It's a cool way to get my music out there -- until my album comes out."