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Motown halftime show to highlight Thanksgiving Day festivities

  • By National Football League
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NFL, United Way and Motown get moving this Thanksgiving


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.

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, who brings together vintage grooves in her debut album; KEM, a leader in the neo-soul movement with two gold-plus albums and two No. 1 singles; international Top 10 hit singer/songwriter Shontelle; and the alternative rock/electronic six-man band Forever the Sickest Kids. The halftime show also features two newcomers: Vita Chambers, who honors Motown's classic era with a mix of rock, pop, and soul, and Hal Linton, who updates the great vocal tradition of Motown's Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder for the new century.

The halftime show set list will be taken from the golden era of Motown, the company founded by Berry Gordy that revolutionized contemporary music in the late Fifties through Seventies with its influential fusion of pop, blues, R&B, rock and gospel elements.

In addition, singer-songwriter Jadyn Maria will kick off the game in Detroit with the National Anthem. She also is a member of the Universal Motown family and was the first artist signed to Grammy-winner Ne-Yo's Compound Entertainment label.

Following the halftime 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.

Melanie Fiona, Kem, Hal Linton, Shontelle and Vita Chambers also will join United Way to volunteer at the Detroit Boys & Girls Club's "I Am Thankful" Dinner on Tuesday, November 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT.

Continuing an innovation introduced in 2006, the NFL will serve up three nationally-televised games on Thanksgiving Day.

The early game (FOX, 12:30 p.m. ET) will be an NFC North meeting of the Packers at the 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 p.m. ET) features the Oakland Raiders visiting the Dallas Cowboys in the Raiders' first Thanksgiving game since 1970.

The Thanksgiving primetime game will be at 8:20 p.m. ET on 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 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.

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