See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Monday, September 10, 2018

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

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge 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.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit