Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin both performed at the NFL's biggest game in their hometown of Detroit. These 8 Superbowl acts have Michigan backgrounds.

The thread that goes all the way back to the very first Superbowl in 1967 when the University of Michigan marching band took the field in Los Angeles for the national anthem will continue as Motown legend Gladys Knight sings in Atlanta.

Gladys Knight was not born in Michigan, she is a native Georgian but has a strong Michigan connection as her early music career is tied to Motown records. (She was with the label from 1966-'73.) You'll recognize the other Motown veterans on the list, with the obvious exception of the U of M marching band. Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis but moved to Detroit and was a lifetime resident, honored by the city when she passed.

Artists with Michigan heritage have been put on display 8 times at the NFL's biggest stage for the championship game, here's the breakdown:

University of Michigan marching band

University of Michigan marching band

  • 1973
  • Halftime with Woody Herman and Andy Williams
  • Superbowl VII, Los Angeles, CA

Diana Ross

  • 1982
  • National Anthem
  • Superbowl XVI, Pontiac, MI

Michael Jackson

  • 1993
  • Halftime
  • XXVII, Pasadena, CA

Diana Ross

  • 1996
  • Halftime
  • Superbowl XXX, Tempe, AZ

Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and Martha Reeves 

  • 1998
  • Halftime - A Salute to Motown's 40th anniversary
  • Superbowl XXXII, San Diego, CA

Aretha Franklin

  • 2006
  • National Anthem with Aaron Neville and Dr. John
  • Superbowl XL, Detroit, MI

Gladys Knight

  • 2019
  • National Anthem
  • Superbowl LIII, Atlanta, GA

There's no denying the musical talent that, as much as the automobile, has been Michigan's contribution to the world.

Bonus Video: Michael Jackson- Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show