CHICAGO — For nearly two decades, he has been performing the national anthem for Chicago Cubs fans while moonlighting in some of Chicago’s most popular restaurants.
But this local entertainer also uses his voice to help his community. John Vincent is one of Chicago’s Very Own.
Despite having jitters, Cubs resident anthem singer John Vincent’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner wowed a national audience during Game 4 of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field.
“Oh yeah, that’s the highlight of my career. Singing in the World Series,” Vincent said.
Vincent also beams when he talks about Lady Gaga’s tweet saying his 2016 playoff performance gave her ‘goosebumps.’
“For her to say that, that meant the world to me,” Vincent said.
Vincent didn’t start off being a singer, taking the idea from his sister insisting that he give it a shot as a career, comparing his voice to Frank Sinatra’s.
Without any formal training, the then-29-year-old landed a gig at Ditka’s Restaurant. It was there that a member of the Cubs pitching staff heard him, and offered him a job.
“They just brought me in and when Mr. Ricketts took over, I just started getting more and more games,” Vincent said.
When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, Vincent also received a championship ring.
“The Cub fans, if they see the ring and I let them try it on or something, that makes them really happy,” Vincent said.
Vincent didn’t always lead such a charmed life. As a child, he was a victim of bullying, now using his celebrity status to help others with an anti-bullying initiative.
Using his speaking voice to talk to children honestly and frankly about his past and hoping to one day put an end to bullies. Vincent has been at this across the country since 2018.
During lockdown, he decided to take his singing voice on the road as well, singing outside nursing homes, working to uplift the spirits of senior citizens who could not see their loved ones.
“You saw faces and people getting up and opening the windows and waving,” Vincent said.
To him, seeing those smiling faces meant just about everything, except of course the World Series.
“I mean, I got a Cubs ring,” Vincent said.