Aretha Franklin's performance of the national anthem at the 1993 World Series was indelible
The world lost one of the greatest musicians of all time Thursday when Aretha Franklin -- The Queen of Soul -- passed away from pancreatic cancer at age 76. While her legacy is defined by winning 18 Grammy Awards and being the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she also provided baseball fans with memorable renditions of the national anthem.
She sang the anthem before Game 1 of the 1993 World Series between the Phillies and Blue Jays at the SkyDome and -- in addition to perfectly capturing the '90s aesthetic -- brought down the house:
Eighteen years later, she took the field at Comerica Park in her hometown of Detroit to sing the anthem prior to Game 3 of the 2011 ALCS between the Rangers and Tigers. Her performance may well have inspired the Tigers to their 5-2 victory.
That wasn't her first appearance with the Tigers, though. Back in the '90s, she joined the team for one of the best versions of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" ever recorded:
So, while we reflect on Franklin's life and career, let's remember how she was able to take a difficult song like the national anthem and make it hers. Baseball and music were both better for it.