Pop star Y Lan completes refugee journey by singing U.S. national anthem at San Diego Padres baseball game


Pop diva Y Lan of Orange County, Calif., a former refugee from Vietnam, will reach a high note by singing the national anthem at the San Diego Padres on Labor Day.

Y Lan, the iconic songstress popular with Vietnamese worldwide, will perform on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, before the Padres go on the field with the World Champions San Francisco Giants.

The San Diego Padres organization is recognizing the Vietnamese community in San Diego, among the largest in the U.S., with “Vietnamese Culture Day,” the first such event in Major League Baseball.

Pre-game cultural festivities include the iconic and alluring ao dai fashions, musical entertainment by the talented Lily Bee and Le Toan Band from Orange County, Calif., culminating with Y Lan singing the national anthem.

“The youth and culture themes tap into our community pride and will draw both die-hard Padres fans and Y Lan’s legions for a great day in baseball,” said Alexander Nguyen, treasurer of the Vietnamese-American Youth Alliance of San Diego that partnered with the San Diego Padres front office.

Y Lan (pronounced e-lan) has more than 100 musical videos to her credit, including a recent release by the wildly popular Paris By Night series of top hits commemorating a 20-year career. She sings Vietnamese pop, French classics and American standards for Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese fans and audiences.

The mother of six children and a breast cancer survivor, Y Lan started her own charitable organization called Sweet Dreams Foundation to promote women’s health awareness and early detection.

Y Lan’s mother is the legendary diva Thai Thanh and her father, Le Quynh, was Vietnam’s first big star of the silver screen. Two of her uncles are Vietnam’s revered composers and songwriters.  Growing up in a musical legacy household, Y Lan was actually discouraged from singing to pursue academic study.

In 1980, Y Lan’s young family left Vietnam as boat people and a year later settled in America.  Not until age 32 did she start her singing career when a music producer in Orange County discovered her talent singing at a classmate’s wedding.

Y Lan shot to instant stardom with her inimitable renditions of romantic ballads. She has toured four continents to Vietnamese communities of the diaspora.

“It’s going to be a milestone for me as well as a tremendous honor to sing our national anthem,” Y Lan said. “As a refugee adopted into this land, I can’t think of a more thrilling moment than performing The Star-Spangled Banner in front of 35,000 San Diego fans in their family outing to cheer America’s favorite pastime.”

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