Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul, and while her rendition of the national anthem was soulful before Thursday’s NFL game between Detroit and Minnesota, some critics believed the song was too long.
Those naysayers were drowned out by Franklin's fans, who said they needed to show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Franklin wore her trademark fur coat and a Detroit beanie to signify her hometown. She sat down at a piano and belted out a 4-minute, 35-second version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Her version brought the house down at Detroit's Ford Field, and her performance quickly went viral.
For reference, the average length of the last ten Super Bowl national anthems has been just under two minutes.
Twitter had a field day with the song’s length, and so did the game’s broadcaster, CBS. The network put up a graphic that showed not only the time of possession by the Lions and Vikings, but also by Franklin.
But Franklin’s legion of fans responded in kind, defending the song’s length.