DETROIT — The Detroit Lions announced today that their halftime show for the 77th Thanksgiving Day Classic November 24 against the Minnesota Vikings will be headlined by multi-platinum and international pop artist Andy Grammer. Detroit's own Aretha Franklin will sing the national anthem.
The first male pop star in a decade since John Mayer to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, Andy Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits. His debut album featured the platinum singles "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me." Andy's second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum infectious smash hit "Honey, I'm Good," which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem "Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)." Andy's latest single "Fresh Eyes" has become a streaming phenomenon. It is currently the #30 ranked song in the world on the Spotify Global Chart and has logged over 70 million total streams.
As a nod to Detroit's great music legacy, 18-time Grammy Award winning artist Aretha Franklin will sing the national anthem. Growing up in Detroit, her talent was first showcased at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father C.L. Franklin was Reverend. Franklin has been in the music industry for six decades and recorded a dozen No. 1 singles, including iconic tracks: "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." The "Queen of Soul" is one of the most decorated artists of all time – including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. She was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, the highest civilian award in the United States, by George W. Bush in 2005. Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).
In the spirit of the NFL's 'Football is Family,' campaign, halftime will kick off with a video vignette telling the story of CB Darius Slay inviting Detroit P.A.L. athlete Chlik Hamilton and his single-mom to be his guest for the Thanksgiving Classic Game. Slay surprised Hamilton at an October practice after Slay learned of Hamilton's work ethic and his mother's sacrifices to allow him to play football. Slay is providing Thanksgiving dinner to 23 single-parent families through his foundation.
Other Detroit Lions Thanksgiving family and community initiatives that week will include:
- The culmination of game presenting sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes. The selected winner will ride in America's Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van with an official game ball and receive a police escort to Ford Field following the parade. He or she will also present the game ball to Matthew Stafford during pregame and enjoy a catered, holiday dinner in a suite while watching the game.
- The team will provide Henry Ford Health System with light pink and light blue infant Lions hats to be given to babies delivered from Sunday, November 20 – Thursday, November 24 at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital.
- Thanksgiving-related community giving events will include: Detroit Lions Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Ford Field, COTS & Detroit Lions Women's Association Thanksgiving dinner basket distribution, serving at Capuchin Soup Kitchen with Campbells Soup and a turkey giveaway at Ford Field.