Lions announce halftime act for Thanksgiving, and fans are loving it

Adam Graham Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Nobody knows who the quarterback will be.

But the halftime show, at least, is set for the Lions' annual Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field, with Detroit rapper Big Sean announced by the team Tuesday morning. Ne-Yo will perform the national anthem.

Big Sean

The Lions' picks for Thanksgiving Day halftime acts have been a cornucopia of hits and misses over the years, but the Big Sean news drew big-time praise on social media. It'll be his second Thanksgiving headline.

Before Big Sean, a Detroit Cass Tech alum, the last local act to do the honors was Mike Posner, in 2018. The Lions didn't have a halftime show on Thanksgiving in 2020, because of state COVID-19 orders. The Lions didn't have fans for the game, either.

The Lions, 0-9-1 on the season, are playing the Bears at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, on Fox. Detroit hasn't yet said who will be its quarterback, Jared Goff or Tim Boyle. Chicago, meanwhile, is expected to go with Andy Dalton over injured Justin Fields.

Plenty of tickets are still available at

Last month, Big Sean released "What You Expect," a 20-minute, six-song collaboration with producer Hit-Boy. It was Sean's first release on his own FF to Def Entertainment, and marked his departure from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music, his label home from 2007 until last year's "Detroit 2." 

Detroit rapper Big Sean performs at halftime at Ford Field on November 26, 2015.

Following his departure, Kanye West blasted Big Sean on the Nov. 4 episode of the "Drink Champs" podcast, saying signing Big Sean to his label was "the worst thing I've ever done." 

Big Sean previously performed at halftime of the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving game in 2015, doing a pair of songs from his "Dark Sky Paradise" album, "One Man Can Change the World" and "Blessings." 

Other artists who have performed at the halftime of the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving day game over the last 20 years include Bon Jovi (2002), Mariah Carey (2005), John Fogerty (2006) the Goo Goo Dolls (2007), Nickelback (2011) and Kid Rock (2012).

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