Four Tops to sing national anthem on Opening Day

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Legendary Motown group the Four Tops is getting the call to sing the national anthem for Tigers Opening Day on April 6 at Comerica Park.

"The first time," said Matt Lee, the group's publicist.

The Four Tops have sung at Comerica Park before, but a few years ago when they were scheduled to do Opening Day, they couldn't get back in time from a gig in Florida.

The Four Tops, who formed in 1953 and never had a change in the singing roster until Lawrence Payton died in 1997, are led by 79-year-old founding member Abdul "Duke" Fakir.

He is joined by Roquel Payton, Lawrence's son, as well as Harold "Spike" Bonhart and Ronnie McNeir.

The Four Tops scored seven top-10 hits in the United States, highlighted by "I Can't Help Myself" and "Reach Out I'll Be There," which hit No. 1.

The Tigers haven't yet confirmed the national anthem singer.

Last week, the club confirmed that Grosse Pointe native, Tigers fan and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.