EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association and Hyundai of El Paso have announced that two former participants from “The Voice” are scheduled to do the halftime performance at the 2016 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Friday, Dec. 30 in El Paso, Texas.
Elia Esparza of El Paso and Khaliya Kimberlie, who resides in Mescalero, N.M. will perform at halftime of the match-up between a team from the ACC and the Pac-12.
“It’s great to bring in not only one, but two performs who have had national exposure,” said Executive Director of the Hyundai Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas. “Both are from the region and we anticipate that many fans will come out to support them.”
The Hyundai Sun Bowl is featuring a halftime performer for the first time since 2014 when Lone Star performed in front of more than 47,000 fans. The Andress High School Band, out of , teaming-up with the UCLA and Virginia Tech bands, putting on a show in 2013, as Three Dog Night performed at the 2013 Fan Fiesta. Lee Bryce worked the crowd of about 48,000 fans in 2012 and the Sun Bowl Association is expecting for at least that many fans to support Esparza and Kimberlie this year.
Esparza, 24, is a Mexican-American pop-soul singer who was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She moved to New York City at the age of 17 to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, a prestigious performing arts school that accepts only 150 people per year.
“I feel honored to be singing for the 2016 Sun Bowl and it’s been a dream of mine to sing for my city, especially at such an important event,” said Esparza. “I’m grateful and extremely excited to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to perform.”
After she trained in New York, she released her debut EP, in which she wrote and co-produced. Esparza premiered on season 11 of NBC’s “The Voice” as part of Team Adam. She will be premiering her new single through Beacon Hills Recording Studios at the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Kimberlie, 17, is half Apache, and an enrolled member of the Mescalero tribe in New Mexico. She started singing in fifth grade, when she performed a Hannah Montana song for a school talent show. Kimberlie auditioned for all state choir in sixth grade, and was one of four performers chosen in their district.
Kimberlie auditioned for the TV show, XFactor, in 2013 and got cut right before televised rounds. She competed in Alamogordo Idol shortly after, and came in second place. Kimberlie has also sang for Cope (raising awareness and funds for domestic violence victims and their children), Relay for Life events and military appreciation events. She competed in the 2015 New Mexico State Fair Karaoke Competition and took first place.
“Performing at the Sun Bowl for the halftime show means a lot to me, because this is going to be the biggest audience I have ever performed in front of,” said Kimberlie. “I am honored to perform with Elia as we got to know each other during our time on ‘The Voice.’ She is so talented and kind. I am so happy that I was chosen to do this. I can’t wait to come to El Paso and sing for you all.
Kimberlie auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” five times, each time advancing further. Kimberlie had a blind audition on season 11 of The Voice, which aired on NBC, and she became a part of Miley Cyrus’s team. After Kimberlie was eliminated during the The Voice’s battle rounds, she received media exposure from newspapers and magazines, such as Rolling Stone and Cosmo. She is now recording music and performing at different events. Khaliya will be performing with ‘Press Play’, a collaboration of young artists, in Phoenix on Dec. 3.
The 2016 Hyundai Sun Bowl game will be played Friday, Dec. 30, at 12 p.m. MT (2 p.m. ET) at Sun Bowl Stadium.
The 2016 game will mark the 83rd anniversary of the Sun Bowl game and the 49th consecutive broadcast on CBS. The game features selections from the ACC and Pac-12 conferences. Tickets are available by calling the Sun Bowl Association office at 915-533-4416.