UMSL alumnus Brian Owens, BM 2008, has seen his vocal talents recently take him from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to Game 1 of the World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Brian Owens has often played to packed clubs around St. Louis. But the singer’s audience has grown lately. By millions.

Staff Sgt. Owens is a member of Sidewinder, a band that is part of the 571st Air Force Band, 131st Bomb Wing, Air National Guard. The band recently returned from deployment as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band in Afghanistan. They also recorded a video of their rendition of Adele’s hit “Rolling in the Deep,” which has received nearly 2 million views on YouTube.

Upon returning home, Sidewinder scored a performance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Owens, an alumnus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, was also tapped by the St. Louis Cardinals to sing “God Bless America” at Game 3 of the National League Championship Series and Game 1 of the World Series at Busch Stadium. Sellout crowds of more than 46,000 loudly applauded each performance, and 12.9 million television viewers watched Owens sing in the 7th inning stretch of the World Series last night.

While on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Owens also took a turn on lead vocals for a cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.” And he chronicled his World Series singing experience in a series of videos he posted to YouTube.

“It’s an interesting time in my life with all that is going on,” Owens, a native of Belleville, Ill., told the Belleville News-Democrat. “I just signed a record deal and my wife is due to deliver our third child in a few weeks.”

UM St. Louis magazine, the predecessor of UMSL Magazine, profiled Owens in its spring 2007 issue. Visit to read the cover story.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz