Lions' Marvin Jones takes singing talent to American Idol stage

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is also a singer who has worked on his original compositions, which he may release once his playing days are over.

Allen Park — You already know Marvin Jones can catch, but did you know he can sing?

The Lions receiver is bringing that talent out of the shadows and into the spotlight, auditioning for American Idol.

“It’s just a good opportunity,” Jones said. “I’ve been in the league six years and there’s still people that don’t know I can sing. I’ve never really put myself out there, only when people were nagging me to do it. It was just a change and just something I thought would be a cool experience before I get too old.”

Jones’ teammates know all about his singing ability. Golden Tate prodded Jones into singing “Happy Birthday” to a guest at Tate’s wedding in March. Tate’s also had teammates, most recently former practice squad member Dontez Ford, into his home recording studio, where Jones will sometimes spend hours laying down original music.


In fact, one of Jones’ tracks, “Count It Up,” which he called a Detroit anthem, was quietly added to the playlist during the team’s preseason games at Ford Field.

For now, it’s a hobby, but Jones said he has an extensive list of original music he might release when he’s done playing football.

As for the American Idol appearance, Jones was coy on the details. ESPN will air a feature on the experience during Sunday Countdown this week. The program airs at 10 a.m.

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Jones filmed the segment in Nashville, but wouldn’t say when. The program’s judges — Luke Bryan Lionel Richie and Katy Perry — were in the city for filming over the Lions’ bye week last month. Jones also wouldn’t tell reporters his song choice, but a brief preview clip from Sunday Countdown showed him belting out an R&B version of Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 hit, “I Can't Make You Love Me.”

The new season of American Idol will debut on ABC on March 11.

Twitter: @justin_rogers