On Thanksgiving, the NFL Halftime show will be featuring a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Motown with performances by: Melanie Fiona, Vita Chambers, Kem, Hal Linton, Forever the Sickest Kids and Shontelle. It is the future of Motown performing the history of Motown!
The most quintessential of American holidays, Thanksgiving, is the setting for a special celebration of a quintessentially American musical treasure: the classic songs of Motown. NFL fans will be dancing in their seats at home and at Ford Field in Detroit during the 2009 United Way Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show: A Motown 50th Anniversary Tribute. The Motown tribute will take place during halftime of the first game of the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader when the Detroit Lions host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, November 26 at 12:30 PM ET on FOX.
In Motown’s original hometown, this special halftime event features six of the brightest talents from the current roster of Universal Motown Records, performing classics from Motown’s all-American songbook.
Bringing the unforgettable songs of Motown back to the Motor City are Melanie Fiona, Kem, Shontelle, Forever The Sickest Kids, Vita Chambers, and Hal Linton. The dynamic and driving tribute spans more than a decade of Motown classics – every one of the songs among the most recognizable and culture-defining songs in pop music history. Following the performance, fans can visit NFL.COM/THANKSGIVING to find out how to download a copy of the halftime medley, as well as music from each of the artists. Proceeds will benefit United Way.
In addition, singer-songwriter Jadyn Maria will kick off the game in Detroit with the National Anthem. She is also a member of the Universal Motown family, and was the first artist signed to Grammy-winner Ne-Yo’s Compound Entertainment roster.
MELANIE FIONA brings together vintage grooves on her exuberant and original SRC/Universal Motown debut album THE BRIDGE, available now at digital retail and on CD November 10th. Universal Motown singer-songwriter KEM performed a special live show in Detroit’s Cass Park in support of the city’s homeless in August 2009. KEM is a leading light of this decade’s progressive neo-soul movement with two gold albums and two No. 1 singles. International Top 10 hit singer-songwriter SHONTELLE’s SRP/SRC/Universal Motown album SHONTELLIGENCE contains the international hits “T-Shirt,” “Stuck With Each Other” (featuring Akon), and “Roll.” The innovative alternative rock/electronic six-man band FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS’ Universal Motown album debut, UNDERDOG ALMA MATER, is now available in a deluxe edition now; the group will release an innovative series of three EPs of new material starting with FRIDAY on November 17th, 2009. The halftime show also features two impressive young Universal Motown newcomers: VITA CHAMBERS, who honors Motown’s classic era with her own edgy mix of rock, pop, and soul, and HAL LINTON, a talented singer who updates the great vocal tradition of Motown’s Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder for the new century. Both are completing debut albums for SRP/Universal Motown for 2010 release.
All of the halftime tribute’s songs are culled from the golden era of Motown, the company founded by Berry Gordy in 1959 that revolutionized contemporary music with its brilliant, influential, and unique fusion of pop, blues, R&B, rock, and gospel elements.
The celebration of Motown’s 50th anniversary continues around the globe with events, special programming, exhibits, etc. An irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown made its mark not just on the music industry but society at large, with a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century. No other record company in history has exerted such an enormous influence on both the style and substance of popular music and culture with artists such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. That influence is still being felt today, from pop to hip-hop, as Motown celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding. Today, Motown is part of the Universal Music Group, with its classic recorded music catalog managed by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
Continuing an innovation introduced in 2006, the NFL will serve up three nationally-televised games on Thanksgiving Day. The early game (FOX, 12:30 PM ET) will be an NFC North meeting of the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions. This is the 19th time the Lions have hosted the Packers on Thanksgiving, including 13 consecutive games from 1951– 1963. The second game (CBS, 4:15 PM ET) features the Oakland Raiders visiting the Dallas Cowboys in the Raiders’ first Thanksgiving game since 1970.
The Thanksgiving primetime game will air at 8:20 PM ET on the NFL Network with the defending NFC East champion New York Giants visiting the Denver Broncos, marking the first Thanksgiving contest in Denver since 1963. The late afternoon game in Dallas between the Oakland Raiders and Cowboys on CBS (4:15 p.m. ET) will also feature special National Anthem and halftime show performances by national artists who will be announced shortly.
Now in its 36th year, the United Way/NFL partnership is the longest running charitable collaboration of its kind and connects NFL PLAY 60 with United Way’s goal of 1.9 million more healthy young people by 2018.
This is the 11th year that United Way has worked with the NFL on the Thanksgiving Halftime Show to inspire NFL fans across the country to get involved in their communities.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, performers Melanie Fiona, Kem, Hal Linton, Shontelle and Vita Chambers will join United Way the week of their performance to volunteer at the Detroit Boys & Girls Club’s “I Am Thankful” Dinner on Tuesday, November 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.