Are you ready for some football? Well, get ready for Monday Night Football to sound a little different thanks to Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg, and Cindy Blackman-Santana‘s cover of the Phil Collins classic “In The Air Tonight”.

The revised version of Collins’ 1981 smash hit debuted on Monday ahead of the NFL‘s doubleheader of the New Orleans Saints versus Carolina Panthers on ESPN and the Cleveland Browns against Pittsburgh Steelers on ABC. In addition to the diverse collection of star power on the track, ABC also employed veteran Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Sturgill Simpson) to helm the track.

The new version harnesses the song’s raw power as an interminable pump-up anthem while also updating it for modern times. Stapleton takes lead vocals in a continuation of his burgeoning relationship with MNF, which during last week’s broadcast featured his song “White Horse”, the lead single from his upcoming album Higher. Between the song’s original lyrics, Snoop Dogg adds gridiron-centric verses while Blackman-Santana pounds out the song’s iconic rhythm and adds some high-octane fills of her own creation.

There was added significance to the debut of “In The Air Tonight” on this particular Monday night matchup. Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a fan of the original track and even played it the night prior to the Steelers’ 2008 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. The song also led the Steelers to victory on Monday night with a 26–22 win over their rivals the Cleveland Browns.

“It was fascinating to me to see how one song could get you in that mode to go kick some tail,” former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, who was on the 2008 squad, said in an NFL feature about the song.

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While “In The Air Tonight” is the wave of the future for Monday Night Football, the flagship ABC series still honors its roots with the iconic “Heavy Action” instrumental remaining in the rotation throughout the broadcast. The new addition of “In The Air Tonight” also adds to MNF‘s rich history of theme music. During the COVID-altered 2020 season, the program introduced a re-recording of Little Richard‘s “Rip It Up” featuring Butcher Brown.

For decades before that, country heir Hank Williams Jr. was the soundtrack to Monday night with his Emmy-winning track “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here On Monday Night”. However, it was Monday Night Football‘s original theme, simply dubbed “Score”, which debuted along with the series in 1970 that was perhaps the best jam. The organ-laced bit of late ’60s nostalgia sounds like it could score a cutscene in Austin Powers.

Bob’s Band – “Score” (Monday Night Football theme)

[Video: Stratman ’78]

Check out Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg, and Cindy Blackman-Santana’s updated version of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”, which will serve as the new theme music for Monday Night Football.

Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg, Cindy Blackman-Santana – “In The Air Tonight” (Phil Collins)

[Video: MK Asante]