He's the man responsible for that video of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade serenading a local chef with Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love" -- not to mention Birdman and Mike Miller rapping "Ice Ice Baby."
And according to Shane Battier, there's much, much more where that came from. The Heat star may be on the road with the team, but he's spending his off hours prepping for Battioke 2014, his annual Karaoke benefit that raises money to send deserving kids to college. With props, wigs, your favorite world famous basketball stars, and a microphone, Battier's singing soiree has become one of Miami's best-loved -- and presidentially checked -- charity bashes.
"Just leave Al Green to the pros, people," Barack Obama jokingly warned the Heat Tuesday as they were honored at the White House for last year's championship. (As we all know, Obama's that pro.)
This year's party goes down at 8 p.m. January 27 at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Advance tickets are $150, the proceeds go to Battier's Take Charge Foundation, and you know you want the honor of seeing the sports world's next viral YouTube happen live. We chatted with Battier to get the scoop on what to expect, whom he'd love to see sing, and how to Karaoke like a champion.
First things first: how's the quad?
All good! I played [Tuesday] night and I'm a little tired, but it's good.
Perhaps more importantly, how are the vocal chords?
They're right. They're right.
How early do you start prepping? Surely you've planned what you're going to perform.
Right now I'm just trying to get this thing off the ground... And you can't over think Karaoke, you have to go organic. I don't know what I'll sing until I show up and see the chest of props and wigs and get a feel for the night. Karaoke cannot be contrived!
In your promo video, you've promised this year's event will be "bigger, better, badder, more than ever, I guess." What can we expect this time around?
President Obama mentioned Battioke when we were at the White House [Tuesday], so I guess we've reached the national consciousness! I have very boisterous teammates who love the spotlight, they've been really fantastic helping us out with this. It's gonna be a great night. We've upgraded our stage to the beautiful Fillmore Miami Beach, and when you hear "Fillmore" you think of the Stones, Hendrix. And now you're going to think Battioke.
We know James Jones can sing a little, but some of your teammates are really, really bad. Who's the worst?
I'm pretty bad. That's why I go first. I'm a team player like that. So they'll think, "Shane's pretty bad, we can't be worse than him." I put myself out there to set the bar so low.
Is there a non-Heat player you'd really love to see do Karaoke?
I think Kevin Durant is really funny. Kevin Love. The greatest performance ever was when I was in Houston, by my teammate Luis Scola. He's from Argentina and he did Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," with the accent and everything. Any of the guys who don't speak English, that's comedy.
We can't say you're absolutely the Karaoke king of Miami, because Beyonce did karaoke on South Beach last week and no one beats Beyonce at anything. But obviously you're a close number two. Is Karaoke a regular thing for you? Do people ask you for tips?
Yeah, I'll give that to Beyonce! At the Battier household, we have a professional system. I've spent a lot of time researching equipment; we have something like 20,000 songs we can do. We don't mess around, especially in the summer with a few bottles of wine. My wife loves having a Karaoke night.
My only tip is be organic. Go with you first instinct, don't worry about what people say, and make it sensual.
The whole point of this night is to benefit your Take Charge Foundation. Tell us what you're up to with that program.
We started the foundation 5 years ago to identify and reward some great kids in the South Florida area, in Houston and in Michigan where we're from. We want to unlock their dreams and give them a college education. They're absolute super stars and we're really proud to say we helped them and got it all started. We take our platform very seriously, we want to use our celebrity and our platform to help these kids out.
And who knew that bad singing would be the generator of all this? If you go to battioke.com, tickets are only $150. It's January 27. I promise you you'll have the time of your life.
Several of the Battioke videos have been viral gold. Do you feel extra pressure now that it's become so well-known?
It's really amazing. The Heat helped make the promo video. It's pretty goofy; the Heat are not shy. And anything they can do to make a viral video or have a good laugh, they're up for it. I'm fortunate to have teammates like that.