Home Sport Der Super Bowl ist zu einem Konzert mit einem Fußballspiel geworden

Der Super Bowl ist zu einem Konzert mit einem Fußballspiel geworden

von NFI Redaktion

Usher, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, Ice Spice, Post Malone, Andra Day, Reba McEntire, Alicia Keys, HER, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, and Wilhelm all performed in Las Vegas on a Sunday evening or attended the same party. The Super Bowl LVIII was part football game, part music festival. In recent years, artists have found a way to win just as much as the teams raising the Lombardi Trophy.

From the legendary halftime shows of Michael Jackson and Prince to Whitney Houston’s iconic rendition of the National Anthem, the Super Bowl has been one of the music industry’s biggest stages for decades. And that’s not even touching on the 20th anniversary of Nipplegate— an incident that made YouTube a household name.

But before we can talk about the current situation and its unique intersection between music and the world’s most famous football game, we need to go back a few years to examine the exact moment when things changed.

Enter Colin Kaepernick.

Yes, a 49ers quarterback who truly changed the game. When San Francisco’s No. 7 led the team to the Super Bowl in New Orleans in 2013, Beyoncé performed during the halftime show—causing the lights to go out. In the following years, we saw acts like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Coldplay (with Bruno Mars and Beyoncé), Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake take the stage. But then something happened in 2018 when the NFL couldn’t get anyone on the phone while preparing for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

Why?

The discussion around Kaepernick and Eric Reid’s blacklisting came to a head when the two filed a collusion lawsuit against the league in 2018—which was later settled. The artists took notice and showed solidarity.

“I couldn’t dare do that. What for? Who gains from that? Not my people,” Rihanna told Vogue in 2019. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’re things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of any service to them in any way.”

In a scramble, the league managed to find a willing participant for Maroon 5—with special guests Big Boi and Travis Scott. However, the damage had already been done. The NFL hosted a Super Bowl in a predominantly black city, the epicenter of black music loved by the world, and couldn’t secure a black artist as the headliner for the halftime show because they had wronged a black player (Kaepernick).

It got so bad that the league canceled Maroon 5’s press conference due to the questions that were going to be asked.

„As it is about music, the artists will let their show speak for itself as they prepare to take the stage this coming Sunday,“ the NFL said in a statement. „Starting with the announcement of the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII halftime show, we began a cross-platform introduction of behind-the-scenes footage and content from each of the halftime performers. Instead of holding a press conference, this rollout will continue through social and digital media up until Sunday on our own, operator-controlled media resources and those of the artists‘ platforms.“

So what changed?

Enter Jay-Z.

In 2019, Beyonce’s husband notoriously said: „I think we’ve passed kneeling. I think it’s time to go into actionable items… I don’t harp on [Kaepernick] not having a job. That’s the necessary part of the process. Now, that we all know what’s going on, what are we going to do? How are we going to stop it?“

That day, two things happened. Jay-Z sat in a room next to Roger Goodell and took photos as if they were best friends, in an act that undercut everything Kaepernick was fighting against. Secondly, it was assured that the Super Bowl Halftime Show would never be crap again, as Jay-Z and Roc Nation had control over selecting the music performers through a deal.

A step forward, a step back—simultaneously.

Since then, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, The Weeknd, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Rihanna have performed as part of the Super Bowl Halftime Show, attracting a younger and more diverse audience, rather than being something that appeals to Middle and Corporate America.

According to Joe Pompliano and his „Huddle Up“ Substack, Justin Timberlake saw a 534% increase in revenue after his performance, Travis Scott’s performance fee doubled, Lopez and Shakira gained over three million Instagram followers, and Rihanna became the most streamed artist in the world for a while as searches for her Fenty Beauty products surged by 833%.

On Monday evening, it was revealed that Super Bowl LVIII set a record with 123.4 million viewers—making it America’s most-watched television program since the moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969. And according to FrontOfficeSports, Usher’s performance earned him an estimated $52 million.

Usher won the Super Bowl just as much as Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Days before his performance, he released a new album as ticket sales for the upcoming tour continue to soar and the value keeps rising. Additionally, Beyonce was featured in a Super Bowl ad hinting at new music, as two new songs were released during the game and an announcement of a new album was made. None of this happened at the Grammys, as that was the news of last week. All of this is attributed to the Super Bowl, which for some today is a concert with a football game.

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