Hey Maroon 5, how does Up With People sound as a possible guest performer for halftime at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Feb. 3?
At this rate organizers may need a Hail Mary to find someone to play the biggest non-paying gig in sports and entertainment, because it seems no one is saying yes.
And, for those of you old enough to remember, Up With People, the very wholesome, saccharine-sweet, troupe of singers popular in the ‘70s that performed at four early Super Bowl halftimes, apparently is still spreading joy around the world. And for those of you who don’t know who they are, don’t look for them on Spotify.
Of course, neither the NFL nor Maroon 5 has confirmed the band is actually playing at halftime. Billboard magazine spilled the beans in September that Adam Levine’s group was the Super Bowl headliner. Until Thursday, crickets.
In more non-confirmed news, TMZ reported that rapper Travis Scott has agreed to perform with Maroon 5 at halftime with three other guest performers. Variety followed up, however, with reports that Jay-Z, who’s critical of the NFL, is trying to talk Travis out of taking the gig. Stay tuned.
Usually by now, the NFL has announced who is playing. In the past, halftime performers have been known as early as September (Bruce Springsteen) and others as late as early December (Coldplay). Hey, SBR already is counting down to the big game. Tick, tick, NFL.
With every page ripped from our “Black Sunday’ Word of the Day calendar: disaster, calamity, debacle, clusterf**k, the Super Bowl midfield stage gets bigger as it continues to be practically empty.
So, what’s the issue? Well, it’s not an Oscar host problem. This is being called the Kaepernick effect.
Earlier in the year, when asked, Rihanna reportedly said no to performing during halftime because she supports former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, banished from the NFL for taking a knee during the national anthem in a protest against police brutality.
And nearly 75,0000 people have signed a petition at Change.org urging Maroon 5 (if they are really performing) to exit left on Super Bowl to demonstrate “solidarity with Kaepernick and players who #TakeAKnee.’
Comedian Amy Schumer, a Super Bowl commercial regular (but not this year), praised Rhianna’s stance and said on Instagram that “it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of Super Bowl.’
Variety reports that the band has reached out to a half-dozen singers, many with homes in the Atlanta area, to perform with them at the Super Bowl, but none have said yes. Reportedly still on the fence is Cardi B, who appears on Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You’ and already is planning to perform at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest that weekend. Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) of Outkast, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj also are on the rumored “we’ve asked’ list but with no commitment.
Beyond Cardi B, the Super Bowl Music Fest isn’t having any trouble finding performers: Aerosmith plays State Farm Arena on Feb. 1, and Bruno Mars will perform with Cardi B on Feb. 2.
Another official run-up Super Bowl concert on Jan. 31 has Ludacris Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, Metro Boomin’ and a DJ set from Lil Jon.
So, if you win the YouWager Super Bowl contest, you might witness Levine tapping his fellow coaches from “The Voice’ to perform with Maroon 5 — Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton, who can bring along Gwen Stefani.
But, don’t forget, there’s always Up With People.