John Amirante, the longtime national anthem singer for the New York Rangers and other local sports teams, died Tuesday at age 83, the Rangers announced.
The cause of death was not reported, according to Reuters.
“It is with great sadness our Rangers family shares the loss of legendary anthem singer John Amirante, who passed away this morning at 83. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann, his children and the entire Amirante family. We will forever remember and miss John,” the Rangers said in a statement.
Amirante, who was born in the Bronx, preformed for the Rangers from 1980 until he retired in 2015, though he would occasionally return for guest appearances after ceding the role. His last performance at Madison Square Garden was on February 25 prior to the Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings.
Amirante told New York Magazine in a 2009 interview that his favorite performance of his career came before Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, when the Garden was so loud he couldn’t hear himself sing.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I felt like I was 10 feet off the ice. And I had chills going through my body, and the fans were just screaming and chanting. I loved every minute of it. And to this day, I can remember specifically how it was. It’s a memory I’ll never forget. And then the parade that followed, I was on a float, and the fans were singing the anthem to me as I went up Broadway. It was great.”
Amirante also sang the anthem for the NBA’s New York Knicks and MLB’s New York Yankees.
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