NEW YORK - Partnering with China Daily and China Daily USA, American Actress/Singer, Helen Hayes Award Nominee and Recording Artist, Mary Millben, shares a national message of hope and support to China in light of the coronavirus COVID-19.
"I know what a very difficult time this is for you - having to watch your beloved homeland under such a devastating health crisis. Our hearts are broken by your suffering. To President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan, my heart and prayers are with you and the people of China. To the Chinese people, the world stands with you and I am praying for you."
Mary made history performing at the 40th Anniversary of U.S.-China Student Exchanges at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington, D.C. - becoming the first American and African-American artist to perform the American National Anthem and the Chinese National Anthem (in Chinese) at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China. Hosted by The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in coordination with The United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The start of Mary's relationship with China dates back 14 years ago when Mary was an exchange student studying in China - Xian University, Yunnan University (Kunming), Peking University (Beijing), and Fudan University (Shanghai) - as a part of the University of Oklahoma (OU) Journey to China 2006 summer program. Last November, Mary sat down for her first national interview with China Daily to share her ongoing relationship with China.
"China has a special place in my heart. I have such fond memories studying in China as an exchange student and shared in a recent interview with China Daily. It was a life-changing experience and a key contributor to why I advocate for students to study abroad. Student exchanges and investing in such programs will birth generations that value global citizenry. Now as an American artist, I value the unique and significant role I can play in strengthening international relationships. I understand the important relationship shared between the U.S and China - through my experiences in American politics and having lived briefly in China. I will continue to support President Trump and President Xi in helping to strengthen U.S.-China ties through cultural diplomacy."
Mary has become one of the world's new celebrated voices and a coveted go-to in the United States due to her rousing arrangements of America's patriotic music. Mary has performed for three consecutive U.S. Presidents (President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump) and the National Anthem at the 58th Presidential Inauguration Victory Celebration of President Donald J. Trump. Furthermore, Mary performed the National Anthem for President Trump's official 2020 reelection kickoff rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
Mary has performed at The White House, the United States Congress, for America's WWII veterans and Gold Star families at the World War II 75th Anniversary Veteran's Day Commemoration Ceremony at the National World War II Memorial, for the 25th Anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Off-Broadway, for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and made her National Football League (NFL) debut performing the National Anthem for the Washington Redskins on NFL Sunday November 2019, to name a few. Mary has graced concerts halls across the globe from Asia to Europe to Canada.
Mary's debut single "Grace Will Lead Me Home", received wide acclaim as the closing song and written for the new feature film "The Meanest Man in Texas," directed by Justin Ward, and produced by Brad Wilson and Casey Bond. The film is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Prior to entertainment, Mary was a White House Presidential Appointee and White House intern to President George W. Bush. Mary serves as a Global Ambassador for Education Africa, and is a long-time advocate for America's troops, veterans and military families, alongside causes for children and arts education in America. Mary shares her journey with Johnny President, a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of the U.S. Intelligence community for 30+ years. Mary is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma and a native Oklahoman.