In recent years, the halftime show at the Super Bowl has become almost as popular as the game itself. Every February, millions of people watch the popular show, expecting it to be like a 15-minute stadium concert with all the bells and whistles. Over the years, the biggest names in music have taken the stage, from Prince and U2 to Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. But how does the National Football League (NFL) choose these people? And, since the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events on TV every year, how much do these halftime performers get paid?
How did the halftime show at the Super Bowl start?
The Super Bowl usually happens at the beginning of February now, but it used to be in January. On January 15, 1967, the first Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles, California. The University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, the Grambling State University Marching Band, and the Anaheim High School Ana-Hi-Steppers Drill Team and Flag Girls all performed.
Since that first show, every year there have been exciting shows that get more high-tech. In fact, it seems like there is an unspoken push to make the shows bigger and better as time goes on. Since that first halftime show, the show has featured well-known bands and artists from a wide range of genres and time periods, which has made for unforgettable entertainment.
How do the acts for the Super Bowl get picked?
So, how does the process of choosing people work? All of this is decided by a panel, which is led by the NFL’s director of entertainment and TV programming. The panel also includes the NFL’s production company, the show’s producer and director, and the league’s production company. The panel looks at each act’s appeal when making a short list of possible performers. After all, they need to get the attention of a wide range of people.
The NFL then gets in touch with the performers’ agents and managers to make sure they are available. Also, the show’s producer and director will meet with the performers to talk about ideas for the set list, stage design, guest appearances, and other things. For its part, the panel talks with the network that will show the game and the game’s sponsors to iron out any other details.
About 300 people are hired a few weeks before the show to quickly set up and take down the stage. What about artists? They also need to get faster because the halftime show has to be done in less than 15 minutes.
Do the people who perform at the Super Bowl get paid?
Many people will be shocked to learn that the people who perform at the Super Bowl halftime show don’t get paid. By league policy, the NFL pays for all costs related to the halftime show, including the travel costs of the performer, but that’s about it. There was one exception, though. During Super Bowl XXVII’s halftime show, which featured Michael Jackson, the NFL and Frito-Lay gave money to the Heal the World Foundation and ran ads for it. Even though that isn’t really payment, the league gave up the ability to sell those commercial spots.
So, what do these acts get out of being in the halftime show? Exposure (former unpaid interns can relate). Every year, about 100 million people watch the Super Bowl and the halftime show. This gives artists a chance to get more sales and fans overnight. For example, CNBC says that after Lady Gaga’s 2017 performance, sales of her digital catalogue went up by a huge 1000%.
The halftime show is definitely exciting and dramatic, and it’s a fun way to break up a big game. In fact, we’ve put together some of our favourite halftime shows so you can take a trip down memory lane with us.
Prince’s Super Bowl performance is a legendary one.
At Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the Purple One performed during halftime. When Prince played with the Marching 100, the marching band from Florida A&M University, he did so on a huge stage in the shape of his logo.
During his electrifying set, Prince sang a short version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and his own hits “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Baby I’m a Star.” He also covered songs by other artists, such as “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “Best of You” by Foo Fighters. “Purple Rain” was the last song of Prince’s 12-minute set, which was seen by about 140 million people at home. Music fans still think this was one of the best Super Bowl performances ever.
Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay Perform Together for a Show to Remember
In 2015, Coldplay was chosen to play at Super Bowl 50. But the group, which was led by Chris Martin, brought out Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, who had both performed at the Super Bowl in 2013 and 2014. Since it was such a big anniversary, the NFL had to pull out all the stops.
Coldplay played some of their most popular songs, like “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” and “Adventure of a Lifetime,” with help from Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel, the University of California Marching Band, and the Youth Orchestra L.A. Then Beyonce sang her song “Formation” with a huge group of dancers dressed as Black Panthers in the background. Mars, whose song “Uptown Funk” is always a hit, sang it with the group. All told, 115.5 million people watched the performance.
At halftime, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez shake things up.
Shakira and Jennifer Lopez shared the spotlight at the halftime show of the 2020 Super Bowl. They brought out amazing guests like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s own daughter, Emme Muiz. Shakira sang hits like “She Wolf,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie,” and Lopez sang well-known songs like “Jenny from the Block,” “Ain’t It Funny,” and “Get Right.”
In the end, they performed “Let’s Get Loud” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” together. The performance was praised by critics so much that it was nominated for five Primetime Emmys. The fast-paced choreography and many costume changes added to the performers’ musical skills.