Social media reacts to Aretha Franklin’s stirring, lengthy anthem at Thanksgiving NFL game

WASHINGTON — Music legend Aretha Franklin took her time during a performance of the national anthem before a Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

Accompanying herself on a grand piano inside Detroit’s Ford Field, the Queen of Soul stretched the “Star-Spangled Banner” into a nearly five-minute-long gospel tour-de-force, complete with rolling piano arpeggios and the divas’s famously throaty vocals.

 Franklin’s extended version sparked a mixed reaction on social media. Some called it the best rendition they’d ever heard. 

Others poked fun at Franklin’s lengthy rendition of the famous tune.

The Detroit native has won 18 Grammys in a career spanning more than 56 years. Some said the singing legend had earned the right to take it slow.

See more reactions to Franklin’s performance.

The Lions beat the Vikings 16-13.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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