Arlette Roxburgh: still stirring as Devils national anthem singer
By William Johnson
February 14, 2021
Lou Lamoriello knows a thing or two about hockey talent. He's apparently a pretty good musical talent scout, too.
The then-president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils was walking down Second Avenue in Manhattan in 1998 when he was drawn into a restaurant where he discovered Arlette, a Trinidad-born singer who was performing in perfect Italian.
"The doors were open [to] the restaurant and I heard this beautiful voice," said Lamoriello, now GM of the New York Islanders. "I decided to go in just to listen to her. And then she came over to say hello, and that's history. I said, 'Would you like to sing the national anthem at a game?' She said, 'I'd love to.'"
More than two decades later, Arlette is still performing as the popular official national anthem singer for the Devils. She is among the longest-tenured anthem singers in the NHL, belting out "The Star-Spangled Banner" for New Jersey through its Stanley Cup championship seasons in 1999-00 and 2002-03 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, through the Devils' move to Prudential Center in Newark.
In that span, Arlette, whose full name is Arlette Roxburgh, has morphed from a hockey novice who "knew less than zero" about the game into a true aficionado.
"I don't know if I can do commentary like (former NHL goalie and Devils radio analyst) Chico Resch or (Devils play-by-play announcer) Steve Cangialosi," she said. "But I can definitely appreciate when a power play is great, I can appreciate the intricacies behind the lines, putting the right people together and how putting the right people together makes magic and chemistry."
She also has developed a fondness for Devils players and staff, past and present. She calls Martin Brodeur, the Hockey Hall of Fame goalie and New Jersey's executive vice president and adviser, "My crush for 20 years." Lamoriello is simply "Uncle Lou."
Arlette loves the game so much, she has been performing the national anthem live at Prudential Center this season, when some singers for other teams have been performing remotely or producing prerecorded renditions of the U.S. and Canadian anthems due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus....
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