Jim Nabors to return to Indianapolis 500 after year away

UPDATE Legendary actor, singer and entertainer Jim Nabors will sing "(Back Home Again In) Indiana" in person during pre-race ceremonies for the 97th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Nabors was unable to attend the race last year due to illness, but a rendition of the song he performed at his home in Hawaii was played on the video screens at IMS during pre-race.

"I'm looking forward to coming home," Nabors said.

Nabors' rendition of the song has become a beloved tradition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since he first performed it in 1972. He has performed the popular song – with thousands of race fans singing along in the grandstands – 33 times in person at IMS since 1972.

Indiana native Jon McLaughlin will sing "God Bless America" during pre-race ceremonies. Actress and entertainer Florence Henderson is unable to attend the race this year to perform the song due to illness.

Pop-rock singer-songwriter McLaughlin, a native of Anderson, Ind., has recorded four full-length albums since his self-titled debut in 2004. His latest album is "Promising Promises," was released in 2012 by Razor & Tie/Sony Records.

McLaughlin's song "So Close" was featured in the Disney film "Enchanted" and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 in the Best Original Song category. McLaughlin performed the song live at the 80th Academy Awards in February 2008.

"This is such an incredible honor for me to be a part of the '500' this year," McLaughlin said. "I'm excited to carry on such a great tradition and just hope I can do the moment justice!"

05/07/13 A familiar face – and voice – will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year.

Jim Nabors, who has performed "Back Home Again In Indiana" before the race almost every year since 1972, will return to that role after a year away for health reasons.

Nabors, 82, underwent heart valve surgery last May and missed the race. Instead, the actor recorded the song on video, which was played on video boards around the track before the race.

"It's a very, I don't know, to me, it's just magical," Nabors said in a 2009 interview. "To be here all of those years, it's part of my life, part of my history now. It's been great to see all the kids grow up."

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