After months of speculation, it’s now official: Maroon 5 will headline the Atlanta, Ga., Super Bowl LIII halftime show on Feb. 3, with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi also performing.
The NFL’s announcement comes after months of reported controversy over a number of artists declining to perform. In light the national anthem debate, many performers have declined to play in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Other artists, including Jay-Z, reportedly tried to dissuade Scott from performing.
Though performers aren’t paid for Super Bowl halftime shows, Scott’s agreement to perform did come with a price. Reports say that the NFL will join the “Sicko Mode” rapper in donating $500,000 to the Dream Corps, an organization founded by Van Jones that seeks to support social justice groups with a focus on reforming the criminal justice system.
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott said in a statement provided to media outlets. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation.”
The inclusion of Big Boi also adds an Atlanta native to the lineup. The rapper and producer was André 3000’s counterpart in their Grammy-award winning hip hop duo Outkast.
Many responded to the announcement on Twitter with dismay at the NFL’s choice, characterizing Maroon 5 as “boring.” Others said that Travis Scott or Big Boi should have been chosen to headline instead.
“Maroon 5 is the super bowl halftime show” pic.twitter.com/05Tp6kSgh1
— Casey Gunn (@Stonersports42O) January 13, 2019
Big Boi lowered himself to Maroon 5? https://t.co/TNBvh8bgPm
— 506 Sports (@506sports) January 13, 2019
Wait until your mom finds out Maroon 5 is playing the Super Bowl halftime show 😍
— Kevin O'Neill (@KevinBuffalo) January 13, 2019
just make it a Big Boi concert and show occasional shots of Maroon 5 in the crowd
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 13, 2019
So they announced Maroon 5 will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. So, I guess Dexys Midnight Runners were unavailable.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) January 13, 2019