Musical icon Aretha Franklin died Thursday morning at the age of 76. “The Queen of Soul” leaves behind a lasting legacy that includes 18 Grammy Awards, 75 million records sold and inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Franklin’s impact extended well beyond just music, though. She used her voice as a champion of social causes, made her mark in movies and brought the house down at major sporting events — most notably at the 2004 NBA Finals.
Ahead of Game 5 in Detroit between the Pistons and Lakers, Franklin performed the national anthem, standing taller than anyone on the floor, including a prime Shaquille O’Neal. Her performance set the tone for a dominant Pistons win, giving the franchise its third championship.
We honor Aretha Franklin the #QueenOfSoul as we remember this dazzling performance from Game 5 of the 2004 NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/GdHpizqJPx
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 16, 2018
As a young girl, Franklin sang at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, served as pastor. While she was born in Memphis, Tenn., Franklin always had Detroit running through her veins.
It was only right her voice propelled the Pistons to victory back in 2004. Respect.
RIP Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/87j06SLzic
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) August 16, 2018