Super Bowl LIII halftime show

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Super Bowl LIII halftime show
Super Bowl LIII halftime show logo.png
DateFebruary 3, 2019
LocationAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
VenueMercedes-Benz Stadium
HeadlinerMaroon 5
Special guests
DirectorHamish Hamiliton
ProducerRicky Kirshner
Super Bowl halftime show chronology

The Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show (officially known as the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show) will take place on February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of Super Bowl LIII. It will be headlined by U.S. pop group Maroon 5, joined by hip-hop performers Big Boi and Travis Scott as guests.

The choice of acts have generated controversy, as a number of proposed performers had reportedly turned down offers due to their support of Colin Kaepernick—who has accused the NFL and its franchises of colluding against him due to his national anthem protests against police brutality. The acts have distanced themselves from the controversy, but both Maroon 5 and Scott requested that the NFL make donations (the former in partnership with their record label) to non-profit organizations as a condition of their participation.


As early as September 2018, multiple sources had reported that Maroon 5 were to headline the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, but the NFL had not yet made an official announcement.[1][2][3][4] In October 2018, it was reported that Pink and Rihanna had each declined an offer to headline, the former because the negotiation process was too lengthy for her taste, and the latter due to her support of Colin Kaepernick.[5][6] In December, Billboard reported that Houston-based hip-hop musician Travis Scott was to make a guest appearance.[7]

After the death of Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, an online petition emerged requesting that David Glen Eisley's song "Sweet Victory" — as featured in the popular episode "Band Geeks" (which followed Squidward Tentacles as he organized an ensemble to perform the halftime show at the "Bubble Bowl") — to be incorporated into the show in some way. As of December 24, 2018, the petition on received over one million signatures, while the Twitter account of Mercedes-Benz Stadium also acknowledged the campaign.[8][9][10]

On January 13, 2019, the NFL officially announced that Maroon 5 will headline the show, joined by guests Travis Scott, and Big Boi—a Savannah native and member of the hip-hop duo Outkast.[11][12]


Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi have faced criticism for their decision to perform at the halftime show due to the NFL's treatment and alleged blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick for protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before games.[12][13][14][15] Several artists, including Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Cardi B, reportedly turned down offers to perform at the show to support the protests.[16][17] In an interview, Kaepernick's attorney Mark Geragos compared Maroon 5's participation to strikebreaking, and argued that if the band wanted to cross the "intellectual picket line", they needed to "own it", explaining that "if anything, it's a cop out when you start talking about, 'I'm not a politician, I'm just doing the music.' Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what's going on here."[18]

In response to the controversy, Scott agreed to participate in the halftime show only if the NFL joined him in donating $500,000 to Dream Corps, an organization founded by Van Jones that supports social justice efforts.[19] Maroon 5 subsequently announced that they had joined with the NFL and their label Interscope Records to donate the same amount to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.[20]

A pre-game press conference regarding the halftime show was cancelled. Although the NFL stated that Maroon 5 had wanted to focus on their preparations for the show, media outlets theorized that the band was trying to avoid the possibility of having to discuss Kaepernick.[21][22][23] In an interview with the news program Entertainment Tonight, the band's lead singer Adam Levine discussed the band's decision to accept the gig, explaining that "I silenced all the noise and listened to myself and made my decision based upon how I felt", and that "I'm not in the right profession if I can't handle a little bit of controversy. It's what it is. We expected it. We'd like to move on from it and speak through the music".[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aswad, Jem; Halperin, Shirley (September 19, 2018). "Maroon 5 to Perform at Super Bowl Halftime". Variety. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  2. ^ Kreps, Daniel (September 19, 2018). "Maroon 5 to Play Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show in 2019". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Engelman, Nicole (October 9, 2018). "Behati Prinsloo Addresses Maroon 5 Super Bowl Reports On 'WWHL': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (September 19, 2018). "Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Reports: Rihanna, Pink Turned Down Super Bowl 2019 Halftime Offers". 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  6. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 19, 2018). "Rihanna Rejected Super Bowl Halftime Show in Support of Colin Kaepernick". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  7. ^ Brooks, Dave (December 20, 2018). "Travis Scott to Perform at Super Bowl With Maroon 5". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2018. Billboard can confirm that the "Sicko Mode" rapper will make an appearance during Maroon 5's set at Mercedes-Benz Stadium..
  8. ^ Dill, Jason (December 21, 2018). "This is how a SpongeBob song would sound at this year's Super Bowl". The Miami Herald. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Donaghey, River; Schwartz, Drew (November 30, 2018). "Over 50,000 Fans Want the Super Bowl to Play This 'SpongeBob' Song at Halftime". Vice. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Hughes, William (November 30, 2018). "100,000 fans demand SpongeBob be allowed to play the half-time show at next year's Super Bowl". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Emerson, Bo. "It's official: Big Boi to join Maroon 5 at Super Bowl halftime". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  12. ^ a b "Super Bowl: Maroon 5, Big Boi and Travis Scott to perform". BBC News. January 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Cohn, Gabe (January 13, 2019). "Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi Will Play Super Bowl Halftime". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Carmichael, Rodney (January 19, 2019). "Gladys Knight To Sing The Super Bowl's National Anthem, As A Perilous Fight Endures". Opinion. NPR.
  15. ^ "Gladys Knight defends singing national anthem at Super Bowl". BBC News. January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Greene, David; Quiroz, Lilly (January 18, 2019). "Even With Rappers Set To Perform, Super Bowl's Halftime Show Remains Tone-Deaf". Morning Edition. NPR.
  17. ^ Bowenbank, Starr (October 22, 2018). "5 Artists Who Reportedly Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Show". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Colin Kaepernick's Attorney Says Maroon 5 Is Crossing the "Picket Line"". Spin. 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  19. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 13, 2019). "Travis Scott's Super Bowl Halftime Deal Required Charity Commitment From NFL". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  20. ^ Kaufman, Gil (January 29, 2019). "Maroon 5 Donate $500,000 Big Brothers Big Sisters Ahead of Super Bowl Halftime". Billboard. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Blistein, Jon (January 29, 2019). "Maroon 5, the NFL Cancel Pre-Super Bowl Halftime Show Press Conference". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  22. ^ Sippell, Margeaux; Sippell, Margeaux (2019-01-30). "Maroon 5 Won't Hold a Pre-Super Bowl Press Conference". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  23. ^ Pedersen, Erik; Pedersen, Erik (2019-01-30). "Adam Levine's Maroon 5 Cancels News Conference On Super Bowl Halftime Show". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  24. ^ Yang, Rachel; Yang, Rachel (2019-02-01). "Adam Levine on Super Bowl Controversy: 'We Expected It'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-02.