The annual Super Bowl halftime show has nearly surpassed the popularity of the actual game in recent years. Millions of spectators tune in to the high-profile programme every February, anticipating all the glitz and glamour of a stadium concert condensed into 15 minutes.
The biggest names in music, including Prince, U2, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga, have performed on stage over the years. However, how does the National Football League (NFL) decide to use these performers?
How much are these performers paid for their halftime performances, given that the Super Bowl is one of the most viewed annual TV events?
What Was the Origin of the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
The Super Bowl used to air in January, despite the fact that it currently regularly takes place in early February. Al Hirt, a bandleader and trumpeter, 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 in the first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967, in Los Angeles, California.
Every year since that inaugural concert, there have been thrilling (and ever-higher-tech) shows. In fact, it appears that there is an underlying pressure to improve the performances as the years pass.
The concert has featured well-known bands and performers from a variety of genres and generations since that initial half-time show, providing outstanding entertainment.
Who Decides Who Performs at the Super Bowl?
How is the selecting procedure going, then? The NFL’s director of entertainment and TV programming, the league’s production firm, and the producer and director of the show all sit on the panel that makes all the decisions.
The panel considers each act’s appeal while creating a shortlist of potential performers; after all, they must captivate the interest of a fairly wide audience.
The NFL then contacts the stars’ managers and representatives to inquire about their availability. The halftime show’s producer and director will also meet with the performers to discuss ideas for the setlist, stage setup, special guests, and other aspects. To smooth over any additional details, the panel also confers with the network broadcaster and the game’s sponsors.
A 300-person team is hired a few weeks prior to the performance to quickly set up and take down the stage. And the creatives? They must also improve their speed because the halftime show must be completed in less than 15 minutes.
Does anyone get paid to perform during the Super Bowl?
Many people may be startled to learn that Super Bowl halftime entertainers are not compensated. According to league policy, the NFL pays for the travel expenses of the entertainer and all expenditures associated with the production of the halftime show.
There was one exception: The NFL and Frito-Lay donated money and supplied commercial space to the Heal the World Foundation during the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show, which starred Michael Jackson. Despite the fact that it isn’t truly payment, the league did give up the ability to sell those commercial spaces.
So what benefits do these entertainers receive from performing in the halftime show? Exposure (former unpaid interns can relate). Every year, the Super Bowl and the halftime performance are viewed by about 100 million people, which gives artists the chance to quickly increase their sales and fan base.
For instance, according to CNBC, Lady Gaga’s digital catalogue sales increased by a stunning 1000% as a result of her performance in 2017.
Undoubtedly exciting and theatrical, the halftime show is a great way to break up the big game. So join us on a trip down memory lane as we compile a handful of our favourite halftime shows here.
An Iconic Super Bowl Performance from Prince
2007’s Super Bowl XLI included a halftime performance by The Purple One himself. On a massive, iconic platform built like his emblem, Prince played alongside the Florida A&M University marching 100 band.
Prince played his classic songs “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Baby I’m a Star,” as well as a brief rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” during his thrilling set. He has performed a number of covers, including “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters.
With “Purple Rain,” Prince concluded his 12-minute performance, which eventually attracted over 140 million home viewers. This performance is still regarded as one of the best in Super Bowl history among music fans.
Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé Join Forces for a Memorable Performance
In 2015, Coldplay was selected to play at Super Bowl 50. Bruno Mars and Beyoncé, who had previously performed at the Super Bowl in 2013 and 2014, respectively, were both brought out by the ensemble, which was led by Chris Martin. The NFL had to go all out for such a significant anniversary celebration, after all.
Coldplay performed several of their hit songs, including “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 performed her track “Formation” with a large group of backup dancers decked out in Black Panther garb. Naturally, Mars joined the trio to sing his perennially popular “Uptown Funk.” The show received 115.5 million viewers in total.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira Shake Things Up at Halftime
The 2020 Super Bowl halftime performance featured Shakira and Jennifer Lopez as co-headliners, and they also featured amazing special guests including Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s own daughter, Emme Muiz. Jennifer Lopez sung well-known songs like “Jenny from the Block,” “Ain’t It Funny,” and “Get Right,” while Shakira performed singles like “She Wolf,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.”
In the conclusion, the two sang “Let’s Get Loud” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” together on stage. The show was so well appreciated by critics that it garnered five Primetime Emmy nominations thanks to its fast-paced choreography and several costume changes that complemented the performers’ musical prowess.