A Goodbye to Bruins Anthem Singer Rene Rancourt

Known for his famous fist pump and booming voice, Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt is calling it a career.

For 41 straight years, Rancourt has belted out the "The Star Spangled Banner" and "O Canada" before each Boston Bruins home game.

"As the years go on, it becomes harder and harder to give the national anthem the performance that it deserves," said Rancourt.

While the players suit up in pads and helmets, Rancourt always shows up in a tux and bow tie, saying his style is influenced by his passion for opera. In his early days, he trained at Boston University's School of Fine Arts, and then Boston Conservatory.

"I would have never gone to a hockey game," said Rancourt.

That was the case until he got a big break at Fenway Park in the 1970s.

"The official singer that day, she became ill and they called me at the last minute," Rancourt said.

He sang the national anthem so well, the Bruins called. And the rest is history.

Rancourt has been with the team now through thousands of wins and losses, and a Stanley Cup Championship.

But the game right after the Boston Marathon bombings may have been the defining moment of his career. Rancourt says it was a somber day and he wasn't sure if he was even going to sing. But once he started, Rancourt spontaneously let the capacity crowd take over his singing duties, bringing everyone together, helping the city become "Boston Strong."

Rancourt's final Bruins regular season performance is this Sunday at the TD Garden. The 78-year-old says he's calling it a career while he's still on top. There's now more time to respond to all his adoring fans.

Rancourt says he will still be singing at weddings and parties, and spending more time with his wife.

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