The Daily Illini

Musicians should be honored to play Super Bowl show

Back to Article
Back to Article

Musicians should be honored to play Super Bowl show

By Noah Nelson, Columnist

In early February each year, fans from across the nation gather around any TV screen they can find to watch the two best NFL teams collide at one of professional sports’ most monumental stages, the granddaddy of them all, the Super Bowl. The event also includes the famous halftime show, which has become part of the blockbuster program in its own right over the last few decades. Sadly, this year’s show sparked much controversy.

Though the Super Bowl has kept both football fans and bandwagoners on the edge of their seat for over half a century, many fans across the nation watch the event especially for the 12-and- a-half-minute halftime show (give or take). For this year’s show, iconic pop group Maroon 5 is scheduled to perform, alongside Travis Scott and Big Boi of Outkast. A few months ago, when rumors spread that the band would likely perform, it was also reported that the group struggled to find supporting artists for the duration of the time slot because of the ongoing Colin Kaepernick controversy.

Over the years global superstars have taken the stage at the Super Bowl, including Michael Jackson, The Who and The Rolling Stones. In recent performances, artists have brought guests out to perform with them on certain numbers, including Katy Perry, who invited Missy Elliot and Lenny Kravitz; Madonna, who invited Nicki Minaj and LMFAO; and Coldplay, who invited Beyonce and Bruno Mars.

The show is a milestone for any artist who wishes to leave a lasting legacy, not only on their career, but on the show itself. Because of the Kaepernick controversy, many artists turned down Maroon 5’s invitation to perform with them onstage, including Mary J. Blige and Cardi B.

Artists should be honored to be thought of as a prospective name to headline the most-watched live performance each year, consistently reaching over 100 million viewers for almost a decade. They shouldn’t turn it down over an ongoing controversy.

Like any celebrity out there, including actors, TV personalities and musicians, they should keep their political views to themselves as best they can. Though some do it solely for the money, the majority of relevant musicians today are supposed to entertain us as viewers, not throw in their two cents about every issue going on in the country.

When Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem, it sparked an outrage for not just football fans and celebrities, but for everyone in the country. Since then, various musicians have vocalized support for him, therefore ruling themselves out to perform in one of the most coveted shows of each year.

The Super Bowl should be one of the highest honors any musician could have. To go down in history and say you played on the same stage as Prince, Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I would play the show in a heartbeat, not to etch my name in the show’s prolific history, but for the fans — the ones who gave musicians their start in the first place.

Noah is freshman in LAS.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment