It’s better late than never and probably a big sigh of relief for the NFL as they officially announced Maroon 5 will headline Super Bowl LIII halftime with Travis Scott and Big Boi.
In the not-so-big reveal Sunday, the NFL touted the lineup as the “broadest range of musical genres ever seen on the Super Bowl stage.’ It’s possible Super Bowl XXIX performers, Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Auturo Sandoval and the Miami Sound Machine, will seek an instant replay review.
Even before the announcement, the halftime show spawned a few prop bets at Bovada including how many songs will be played.
The announcement comes after weeks of critical commentary from celebrities and activist organizations, such as comedians Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer and the NAACP, asking musical acts not to perform at halftime show in solidarity with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick hasn’t been able to find work in the National Football League for nearly two years since he began taking a knee during the National Anthem, in a protest against police brutality.
Earlier in 2018, when asked, Rihanna reportedly said no to performing during halftime because she, too, supports the former QB. Nearly 85,000 people have signed a petition at Change.org urging Maroon 5 to drop out to demonstrate solidarity with players “who #TakeAKnee.’
Jay-Z, Meek Mill and the Reverend Al Sharpton reportedly also asked Scott not to perform at the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show. Both Scott and Maroon 5 are represented by the Irving Azoff-lead Full Stop Management, which likely played a big role in shaping the show.
The announcement comes late in the season with most half-time performers usually announced sometime in October. From wardrobe malfunctions to social issues and ultimately criticism in the media and on social media, the once coveted halftime performance has been a hard gig to fill.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, too, has found it hard to find a host for the Oscars, having asked comedian Kevin Hart to take the job, only to have him drop out due to backlash from past homophobic Twitter posts.
But now it’s done. A few stats on your halftime entertainment:
- Maroon 5, with lead singer Adam Levine, is one of pop music’s more enduring artists and one of the most successful of the last 15 years earning three Grammy Awards and selling more than 53 million albums.
- Travis Scott is a Grammy-nominated global superstar with his latest album “ASTROWORLD,’ featuring best-selling single “Sicko Mode,’ debuting at No. 1. He embarks on the second North American leg of his ASTROWORLD Tour this month which features a roller coaster hoisted in the air running the length crowd.
- Hip-hop artist Big Boi made history as the preeminent spitter of the Dungeon Family and one-half of OutKast. The legendary duo sold 25 million albums and garnered seven Grammy Awards, becoming the first and only hip-hop artist in history to win the Grammy for “Album of the Year.”