DETROIT – Aretha Franklin will join New Orleans singer Aaron Neville in performing the national anthem at next month's Super Bowl. They will be accompanied by another veteran New Orleans musician, pianist Dr. John.
"The combination of all three should present a very memorable performance," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Detroit Free Press.
Franklin, Neville and a 150-person backing choir will sing to a taped vocal track to be recorded in Detroit several days before the Feb. 5 game at Detroit's Ford Field, the Free Press reported on its Web site.
The NFL's selection of the Rolling Stones for the halftime show prompted demands that the Detroit area's musical legacy be recognized. That led to the booking of Wonder and then Franklin, who was 2 when her family moved from Memphis, Tenn., to Detroit in 1944.
The NFL selected Neville, whose home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, in part to honor the singer's hometown of New Orleans. Neville also performed the national anthem at the 1990 Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Past Super Bowl national anthem singers include Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Jewel and Beyonce.