Legendary singer Aretha Franklin has reached a status in her career where she can do no wrong.
The Queen of Soul has a career spanning six decades. She’s won 20 Grammy Awards. Has a Kennedy Center Honor. And was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
So when Aretha Franklin wants to sing a 5-minute version of the National Anthem, Aretha Franklin sings a 5-minute version of the National Anthem.
She did just that on Thanksgiving too — performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Thursday’s Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings game at Ford Field.
Wearing a grey fur coat and a knit Detroit Lions hat, Franklin sat behind a grand piano — which she played throughout the song. She took fans to church in the heartfelt performance — slowing down the song and hanging on nearly every word. (The “flag was still there” — for at least 12 seconds, for example.)
Franklin is an icon to the city of Detroit — where the sound of Motown was born. So it was no surprise that the crowd at Ford Field were especially in love with Franklin’s National Anthem — breaking into thunderous applause throughout the performance.
But the Internet had a field day of their own with her rendition.
“Thankful Aretha Franklin doesn’t sing the Anthem when I pitch,” wrote Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher James Taillon. “Pretty sure I would have to go back to the pen and warm back up #pipesthough.”
Other fans on Twitter couldn’t get over how long Franklin took — many joking about what they could have done in the meantime.
And it’s a good thing Colin Kaepernick wasn’t around…
Still, the praise for Franklin was pretty unanimous.
Never change, Aretha. Never change.