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NFL Thanksgiving halftime shows: Who is performing during Cowboys, Lions games in 2020?

Sporting News logo Sporting News 11/26/2020 Billy Heyen

Thanksgiving NFL halftime shows aren't quite the Super Bowl halftime performance, but there have been a lot of big names throughout the years taking the stage on Turkey Day at NFL stadiums.

The Dallas Cowboys always use their halftime show on Thanksgiving to kick off the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. This year's halftime show at AT&T Stadium will feature Kane Brown, potentially the highlight between two halves of football of the 3-7 Cowboys and Washington Football Team.

Normally the Lions have a Thanksgiving halftime show, too, but emergency COVID-19 orders in Michigan seem to have prevented that from being the case in 2020.

Here's what you need to know about the music you will (or won't) see at halftime of Thanksgiving games in 2020.

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Cowboys halftime show for Thanksgiving

The Cowboys' halftime show on Thanksgiving will, as usual, kick off the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign for holiday-time donations. This year, the performer during halftime at AT&T Stadium will be country star Kane Brown.

"There were times growing up when my family did not have enough to eat, or a roof over our head, and today, there are so many people in need. 2020 has been a hard year, but every small act of generosity helps," Brown shares in a press release. "I am honored to have the opportunity to bring awareness to the ways people can help during this holiday season and beyond.”

The Thanksgiving halftime show in Dallas has been televised for more than 20 years, and Brown joins a lengthy list of notable halftime performers which includes Thomas Rhett, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, LeAnn Rimes, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Clint Black, Billy Gilman and more.

MORE: Why do the Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving?

Who is Kane Brown?

Brown, 27, is a multi-racial country star who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a European-American mother and an African-American father. Brown first received attention by posting cover versions of popular country songs online. In 2019, Brown won the American Music Award's honor for Favorite Country Male Artist.

Brown will likely play his recently released single, "Worship You," as part of his halftime performance. It's also a safe bet that he'll play "Worldwide Beautiful," a song that addresses racial injustice. Brown's other most popular songs include "Good as You" and "Heaven."

Lions halftime show for Thanksgiving

The Lions have not announced a halftime performer for 2020. They've consistently had performers at halftime in recent years, including Mike Posner in 2018 and Brothers Osborne in 2019, so this could be due to a new emergency order in Michigan.

On Nov. 15, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an extensive emergency order to combat the fast rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. Among other things, the order prevents the Lions from having fans at Ford Field on Thanksgiving. The order says, ""Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators." 

It's likely that a halftime show wouldn't meet "extraordinary standards for risk mitigation" with Robert Gordon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, adding that "no attendance means no attendance," according to the Detroit Free Press

MORE: Why do the Lions always play on Thanksgiving?

NFL Thanksgiving schedule 2020

Game Kickoff time TV channel
Texans (3-7) at Lions (4-6) 12:30 p.m. ET CBS, fuboTV
WFT (3-7) at Cowboys (3-7) 4:30 p.m. ET Fox, fuboTV
Ravens (6-4) at Steelers (10-0) 8:20 p.m. ET NBC, fuboTV
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