"Idol" winner Kris Allen to sing at NBA finals

Fri Jun 5, 2009 7:33pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "American Idol" champion Kris Allen will sing the U.S. national anthem on Sunday before the second game of the NBA finals, pairing the winner of TV's top-rated talent show with U.S. professional basketball's biggest series.

The 23-year-old Allen, a student from Arkansas, won the 2009 season of the popular singing contest, defeating presumed front-runner Adam Lambert who was known for his outlandish style.

Allen will serenade basketball fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Orlando Magic. The Lakers routed the Magic in the first game Thursday night, winning 100-75. Allen's version of the anthem will be broadcast live on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT.

Allen is the latest "Idol" winner to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the league's championship series. Since 2004, the NBA has worked with past "Idols" including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>"American Idol" winner Kris Allen performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New York May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>