Aretha Suits Up For NFL Kickoff Show

R&B/soul legend Aretha Franklin has been added to the lineup for the Sept. 4 event at the National Mall park in Washington, D.C., kicking off the 2003 National Football League season. As tipped he

R&B/soul legend Aretha Franklin has been added to the lineup for the Sept. 4 event at the National Mall park in Washington, D.C., kicking off the 2003 National Football League season. As tipped here last week, Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige will be on hand for the show, which will precede the first NFL game of the year later that evening between the Washington Redskins and New York Jets at D.C.'s FedEx Field.

"NFL Kickoff Live From the National Mall" will feature performances from Blige, Spears and others to be announced. Additional football- and music-related activities will be spread around the Mall. Franklin will conclude the event with a rendition of the national anthem.

ABC will broadcast the event live from 8-9 p.m. ET, followed by the Redskins/Jets game. A contest running on Pepsivanilla.com is offering fans a chance to win VIP-access tickets to the music festival and tickets to the game.

To open last year's season, the NFL staged a similar event in New York's Times Square. Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Alicia Keys and Eve performed before a crowd of 500,000, preceding the San Francisco 49ers/New York Giants game. Bon Jovi also played at halftime during the game.