Aretha Franklin causes a stir with lengthy National Anthem performance

25th Nov 16 | Entertainment News

Aretha Franklin stunned fans with her lengthy rendition of the American National Anthem on Thursday (24Nov16).

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Prior to the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings Thanksgiving showdown at Detroit's Ford Field, the music legend played an inspired, highly extended version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Wearing a grey fur coat and a knit Detroit Lions hat, Franklin sat behind a grand piano, which she played throughout. Going for a church spiritual sound for the heartfelt performance, the 74-year-old slowed down every note, with the song eventually clocking in at four minutes and 35 seconds.

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.

The game's broadcaster, CBS, had a field day with song's length, putting up a graphic showing not only showing the Vikings' and Lions' time of possession, but also Franklin's.

NFL reporter Mike Garafolo commented: "Aretha out there trying to sing the Anthem for all three games. Love it. Let's play some ball now."

It was a sight to see and hear with her vocals resulting in a firestorm on Twitter - some expressed their love for Franklin, with hip hop artist MC Hammer tweeting, "I'm glad #ArethaFranklin sang an extended version of the National Anthem.. took them to Church ..made them search their hearts."

But other made Thanksgiving Day jokes about the length of her tune.

"I cooked my whole turkey, ate and did the dishes during Aretha Franklin's National Anthem performance," wrote @BlaiseInKC on the social media website.

The game wasn't the first time the Queen of Soul has astonished fans with an unexpected demonstration of her enormous talent and vocal range.

In 1998, Franklin stepped in at the last minute for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti at the Grammy Awards, and instead of doing her normal set, she delivered a note-perfect rendition of the aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini's opera Turandot - Pavarotti's signature tune.

© WENN Newsdesk 2016