Aretha Franklin to be celebrated in tribute video at tonight’s Lions’ season opener


Aretha Franklin performing at Chene Park in 2015. - STEVEN HAUPTMAN
  • Steven Hauptman
  • Aretha Franklin performing at Chene Park in 2015.

It was almost two years ago that Aretha Franklin, in typical fashion, brought down the house at Ford Field with her jaw-dropping rendition of the national anthem at the 2016 Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

Franklin’s voice dominated the field to such a degree that analysts even chalked her into some stats:

Now, weeks after her death, the Motown legend will appear once again at Ford Field (or at least her presence will anyway) to ring in the Lions’ opener against the New York Jets.
A two-minute video, shot on Sunday at local Detroit haunts like Motown Record's Hitsville U.S.A and the Music Hall's newly titled Aretha's Jazz Cafe, features Boyz II Men and Tori Kelly performing Franklin's "Rock Steady,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
The video will also play during the game following the Lions’ tonight, Los Angeles Rams against the Oakland Raiders at 10:20 p.m.

Constantly in demand to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Franklin also performed at Super Bowl XL in 2006, the 2004 Pistons’ NBA Finals and the 2001 Tigers’ AL Championship series, but a personal favorite will always be her 2007 “America the Beautiful” rendition at Ford Field for WrestleMania 23 in Detroit.

Her death was universally mourned by sports players and fans alike. May the Queen of Soul rest in peace.

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