ESPN’s Monday Night Football will elevate the excitement and emotions leading into each game with a new music video open that combines nostalgia with intensity as “In the Air Tonight” is reimagined by eight-time Grammy Award winner Chris Stapleton, entertainment icon Snoop Dogg, and world renowned-drummer Cindy Blackman Santana. Tonight’s debut of Phil Collins’ megahit ahead of Monday Night Football adds to the television franchise’s “Two Games, One Night,” special presentation (Monday, Sept. 18). The new open by Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and Cindy Blackman Santana will lead into both ESPN (Saints at Panthers, 7:15 p.m. ET) and ABC (Browns at Steelers, 8:15 p.m.) games and then continue ahead all Monday Night Football games, ESPN’s Week 18 Saturday Doubleheader, Super Wild Card, and its first Divisional playoff game.
“Heavy Action,” the iconic Monday Night Football theme music, also remains. Fans will hear the famous instrumental following the new open and leading into Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Lisa Salters’ call of the game, as well as other times throughout the telecast.
The new Monday Night Football anthem is comprised of Chris Stapleton covering Collins’ lyrics, with Snoop Dogg, in his signature style adding football-centric verses, Cindy Blackman Santana, a powerhouse on the drums, rocking the song’s iconic drum break and brings her own style and accents to this classic song. The show open will include NFL stars, game highlights and dramatic moments intercut with dramatic performances from all three artists. ESPN’s Creative Content Unit produced the open in conjunction with the musical trio and Grammy-award winning record producer Dave Cobb.
“In the Air Tonight” Among the Greatest Songs of All-Time; Long History with Football
Rolling Stone named “In the Air Tonight” one of greatest songs of all-time and its relationship with football is deep, having been cited in the past and present as a song that helps players shift their mindset to prepare to compete.
“It was fascinating to me to see how one song could get you in that mode to go kick some tail,” said two-time Super Bowl champion and Steelers legend Hines Ward in an ESPN feature about the song, which was played by Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin the night before Super Bowl XLIII.
Added Washington Commanders Terry McLaurin in same feature, “I don’t care if you are the home team, the away team, you are hearing that song no matter what (before the game).”
Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg, Cindy Blackman Santana, Timbaland and Timberlake all Part of Monday Night Football Music
The addition of Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and Cindy Blackman Santana adds to a star-studded music lineup surrounding Monday Night Football. In Week 1, Monday Night Football featured Chris Stapleton’s song “White Horse,” the first single off his soon-to-be-released album “Higher,” beginning ESPN and Chris Stapleton’s collaboration. Previously announced, Grammy-winning music producer Timbaland and global superstar Justin Timberlake’s music will run in Monday Night Football promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows for seven weeks this season.