It is set that Maroon 5 will be headlining the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime show in Atlanta, along with special guests Travis Scott and Big Boi, the NFL announced.
“It’s a Super Bowl tradition to speculate about the performers for the Pepsi Halftime Show. We are continuing to work with Pepsi on our plans but do not have any announcements to make on what will be another epic show,” the NFL said in a statement.
— Maroon 5 (@maroon5) January 13, 2019
— Big Boi (@BigBoi) January 13, 2019
For Maroon 5, performing at the Super Bowl has been a longtime dream. According to Billboard, during a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Adam Levine said that the band “very actively wants to play the Super Bowl.”
The Super Bowl LIII will take place on February 3 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
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And There’s Some Drama
According to Cosmopolitan, Maroon 5 wasn’t the NFL’s first choice for the halftime show. Rihanna reportedly turned down the opportunity in order to support Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the NFL San Fransico 49ers from 2011 to 2016 and drew attention for refusing to stand for the national anthem, after which a form of protest that was adopted by other players and became a political topic.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source told Us Weekly. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Cardi B also reportedly turned down an offer from the NFL for the same reason, Page Six reported. “She was not particularly interested in participating because of how she feels about Colin Kaepernick and the whole movement,” a representative of Cardi B said.
Some people aren’t thrilled with Travis Scott’s decision to perform at the Super Bowl. Though according to Variety, Scott and Kaepernick did talk about it over the phone before he accepted the Halftime Show. “While the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding,” a source said.
However, Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Dias disputed that account of the conversation in a tweet Wednesday, January 16. Although she did not deny the conversation happened, as some reports initially implied. “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying,” she wrote.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) January 16, 2019
Ultimately, Travis Scott is using this opportunity to perform and to partner with the NFL to donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a non-profit social justice organization that “works to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.”
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in…I know being an artist 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.”