Aretha Franklin Sang a 5-Minute National Anthem at the Lions-Vikings Game — and the Internet Is Very Thankful

Aretha Franklin sang a 5-minute version of the National Anthem on Thanksgiving at the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings game at Michigan's Ford Field.

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.

Gregory Shamus/Getty
Gregory Shamus/Getty

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.”

Watch What Happens Live! host Andy Cohen kept things superficial by complimenting Franklin on her outfit.

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.

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