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Posted: January 20, 2016

Police officer's impromptu national anthem performance goes viral

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By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. —

When a snowstorm prevented the scheduled national anthem performer from arriving at a college basketball game in time, organizers scrambled to find a replacement.

They didn’t have to look far.

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West Virginia University police officer Carlton Smith stepped in to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the West Virginia-Kansas game at the WVU Coliseum on Jan. 12.

He didn’t have time to warm up or practice, but he still blew away the crowd with his stellar performance.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, it wasn’t Smith’s first public performance or his first time attempting the national anthem. He’s performed it live at area sporting events. His golden voice earned him a ticket to Hollywood on “American Idol.”

Still, Smith says he always gets nervous before performing, and the anthem is a difficult song to pull off successfully.

Smith’s performance has gone viral, and has been seen over a half-million times on YouTube.

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