It’s official. The NFL announced today (Jan. 14) that The Voice coach Adam Levine and Maroon 5 will take center stage at the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show on CBS at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. Maroon 5 will feature a slate of guest artists including Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott and Atlanta native Big Boi.
But the prestigious booking is not without controversy, writes Variety:
Critics ranging from celebrities like Amy Schumer to organizations like the NAACP have taken issue with the halftime booking — partially because the big game is taking place in Atlanta, the capital of black music in the U.S., but largely because of the NFL’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been essentially drummed out of the league for kneeling during the National Anthem (a move many feel is based in racism) — and advocated for musicians to turn down the gig.
…sources tell Variety that multiple artists of color — including Cardi B (who is featured on Maroon 5’s recent hit “Girls Like You”), Outkast, Mary J. Blige, Usher and Nicki Minaj
Scott issued a statement saying that in partnership with the NFL, he will donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a nonprofit founded by CNN commentator Van Jones that, according to its mission statement, supports “economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators.”
Jay-Z, Meek Mill and the Reverend Al Sharpton were among the people who sources or reports said criticized or tried to convince Scott to decline the performance. But he, Maroon 5 and Big Boi are all affiliated with the Irving Azoff-helmed Full Stop Management, which apparently carried the day.
Previous halftime acts include Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Missy Elliott, Lenny Kravitz, Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, The Who, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 and many more.
Super Bowl LIII marks Pepsi’s seventh year as title sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and 17th year as an NFL partner.