Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi finally filled the NFL’s “want ad’ for someone to perform at halftime for Super Bowl LIII.
Of course, before Scott would agree to perform, the NFL fulfilled his request that the league make a charitable contribution of $500,000 to Dream Corps, a nonprofit that confronts social justice issues.
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire,’ Scott said in a statement to Billboard. “So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.’
The donation is part of the NFL’s “Inspire Change’ program, announced last week.
Yes, the National Football League’s Colin Kaepernick issues persist; just ask Gladys Knight, who is singing the National Anthem and who has been dealing with backlash since the announcement on January 17. Scott, too, heard negative reaction from actor Michael B. Jordan and the Rev. Al Sharpton, among others.
For months, performers took a pass on singing on the world’s largest stage in support of the former quarterback and his protest regarding police brutality and social injustice.
Among the “thanks but no thanks’ crowd, Jay-Z, Cardi B and Rihanna.
When Billboard reported earlier in the fall that Maroon 5 would play halftime, they too faced criticism in social media. There also was a petition on Change.org urging them to drop out. And there’s now another urging all the halftime performers to take a knee during the show in solidarity with Kaepernick.
This week, Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morgan defended his band’s participation.
“I think there are plenty of people – a lot of the players, to be honest – who support Kap and also do their job for the NFL,’ Morton told People magazine last week. ‘I think we’re doing the same thing. We can support being against police brutality against black and brown people and be in support of being able to peacefully protest and still do our jobs. We just want to have a good time and entertain people while understanding the important issues that are at hand. There was a lot to go into that decision.’
Morton said performing at the game has been a “lifelong’ dream.
It appears another petition on Change.org may have impact on the halftime show. With more than 1.1 million signatures a petition asks that as a tribute to “Spongebob Squarepants’ creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in November of ALS, that the iconic “Sweet Victory’ song be included in the show. There is no official confirmation, but in a halftime teaser posted by Maroon 5 there is a quick flash to our favorite pants-wearing sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
“Sweet Victory’ appeared in the 2001 “Band Geeks” episode of the famed animated series. The plot involved Spongebob and his marching band getting a gig to play the Bubble Bowl and even though rehearsals were abysmal, they rallied at the game, nailing an ’80s style, hair band power ballad “Sweet Victory.”
With the halftime lineup we know will hit the Super Bowl stage, the NFL has struck a balance of relatable pop with Adam Levine and the boys with a big dash of edge in hip-hop artists Scott and Big Boi.
Scott will take the stage riding the success of his No. 1 album “Astroworld’ and biggest hit “Sicko Mode.’ And for rapper Big Boi, performing at the Super Bowl will be a homecoming for the legend. As part of the hip-hop duo Outkast, he helped put Atlanta on the musical map in the ‘90s.
What song will Maroon 5 open halftime with?
- One More Night +300
- Makes Me Wonder +400
- Animals +500
- Don’t Wanna Know +600
- Girls Like You +600
- Moves Like Jagger +700
- Sugar +700
- Payphone +1200
- Maps +1200
- Mic Jack +1500
- Any Other Song +400
Our Pick: We’re going with “any other song’ – two of the band’s biggest hits aren’t on this list, “She Will Be Loved’ and “This Love.’
How many Maroon 5 songs performed?
- Over 3.5 +120
- Under 3.5 -160
Our Pick: Under 3.5 … you need to accommodate your stage mates!
Will Adam Levine wear a leather jacket?
- Yes -200
- No +160
Our Pick: Yes. But honestly we don’t care.
Will Mic Jack be performed?
- Yes -300
- No +200
Our Pick: We’re going with yes – but we feel bad for the person on the “bleep’ button – too much stress!
Will Andre 3000 Join Big Boi on stage?
- Yes +250
- No -400
Our Pick: We wish, but we think Andre 3000’s past activism will keep him on the sidelines.
Will Big Boi wear a Falcons logo on stage?
- Yes +400
- No -700
Our Pick: Doubtful, if the NFL has any say.
Will Big Boi wear a gold chain?
- Yes -700
- No +400
Our Pick: Hell yes!
Will Kylie Jenner appear on stage?
- Yes +1200
- No -2500
Our Pick: Dear god, we hope not. Though, we wouldn’t put it past Mama Kardashian-Jenner to be negotiating a deal right now.
Will Travis Scott mention Kaepernick?
- Yes -120
- No -120
Our Pick: We’re going with no.
Will Donald Trump be mentioned during halftime?
- Yes -120
- No +120
Our Pick: We’re sticking with our Kylie Jenner answer here, minus the mom remark.
Will any performer fall down?
- Yes +250
- No -400
Our Pick: Everyone will remain upright.