Turkey, Football and Motown for Thanksgiving

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 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.

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.

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.

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