The Detroit Lions honored late music icon Aretha Franklin before their preseason home opener at Ford Field with a brief message and a moment of silence.
As the Lions and New York Giants lined up on their respective sidelines before the playing of the national anthem, an announcement was made of the public-address system:
“(On Thursday,) Detroit and the world lost a true superstar with the passing of Aretha Franklin. She was a music icon whose talent was honed in her father’s church here in Detroit and soon spread throughout the world, earning her millions of fans and numerous awards, including 18 Grammys.
“In 1987, she became the first female ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And in what would be one of last performances on Thanksgiving Day 2016, she dazzled a sold-out Ford Field with her rendition of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’ ”
An announcement asking for a moment of silence for the “Queen of Soul” followed. Franklin died of pancreatic cancer Thursday at age 76.
Also, the first performance by the Lions' cheerleaders on Friday was to Franklin's hit, "Think."
Franklin had one of the more memorable renditions of the national anthem for a Lions game at Ford Field. Wearing a fur coat and Lions knit cap, she played the piano and belted out a soulful rendition at midfield that lasted 4 minutes, 35 seconds.
Contact Carlos Monarrez at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.
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