Beneath an umbrella, NFL legend Dan Marino stood practically drenched on the sideline watching Prince’s epic “Purple Rain” Super Bowl halftime efficiency in 2007 throughout a torrential Miami downpour.

For Marino, Prince’s iconic present was one the best moments within the historical past of halftime reveals — as soon as seen as a humdrum intermission that includes faculty marching bands. However in time, the halfway level of the NFL’s championship recreation has emerged into one among sport’s greatest spectacles, with famous person performances from Michael JacksonBeyoncéMadonnaAerosmith and U2.

“The halftime efficiency has come a great distance,” stated the Corridor of Fame quarterback, who performed 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and competed within the 1985 Tremendous Bowl. As an NFL analyst, Marino’s had a front-row seat to a number of halftime reveals.

“Not lots of people actually watched it,” he continued. “However now, as we head into Tremendous Bowl 58, folks love to look at the halftime present.”

In practically six a long time, the halftime festivities have remodeled from a family-oriented present with patriotic tunes into leisure’s greatest stage with top-tier performers, pyrotechnics and very good backup dancers. The 12-to-15 minute efficiency typically attracts extra eyeballs than the precise championship recreation, constantly drawing greater than 100 million viewers.

“I feel the reside aspect is fairly thrilling for folks as a result of it’s an enormous manufacturing and there’s so many shifting items,” stated actor Scarlett Johansson, who doesn’t contemplate herself a soccer fanatic. However she’s intrigued by the unpredictability of the halftime present like Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s notorious “wardrobe malfunction,” Girl Gaga dropping from a stadium roof and Rihanna’s pregnancy reveal.

“You form of watch with nervous pleasure,” Johansson stated. “ at any second one thing may possibly go unsuitable. That’s why it’s so enjoyable to look at it since you’ve received all this anticipation. The manufacturing is so big and so many individuals have come collectively to create this one second. It’s form of superior.”

Kris Jenner agrees, calling the halftime present a “large shock.”

“The manufacturing stage and the way shortly they put it collectively as they’re breaking into industrial and are available again with this fabulous, epic present,” stated Jenner, the matriarch of “The Kardashians” actuality tv present. “By means of all of the years and know-how, it will get higher and higher. It’s so thrilling to look at and see what they provide you with subsequent and who’s going to carry out. It’s such an enormous deal.”

Usher — who last year told The Associated Press his look with the Black Eyed Peas in the course of the 2011 Tremendous Bowl taught him to not “take the moments as a right since you solely get 13 of them” — will headline this year’s show in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

His present shall be vastly totally different than the NFL’s first Tremendous Bowl halftime present in 1967, which featured marching bands from the College of Arizona and Grambling State College, a traditionally Black faculty, together with tons of of flying pigeons, hundreds of balloons and two hovering males carrying jetpacks.

After the inaugural Tremendous Bowl, the NFL saved bringing again different marching bands, drill groups, signed Chubby Checker and Up with Folks, a company that stage constructive pondering by dance and music performances. Nevertheless, none of these acts had been thought-about big attracts.

However because the Tremendous Bowl’s reputation soared and recreation day emerged as an unofficial vacation within the U.S., the NFL wished the halftime present to develop in the identical capability. The league tapped New Youngsters on the Block and Gloria Estefan the primary two years of the ’90s. Then it noticed an enormous breakthrough when Michael Jackson headlined the 1993 present on the Rose Bowl in Southern California, the place the King of Pop notoriously moonwalked throughout the stage and carried out hits together with “Billie Jean,” “Black or White” and “Heal the World.”

Jackson’s stellar efficiency opened the door for different stars just like the Rolling Stones, Diana RossJennifer Lopez and Shakira who’re wanting to carry out.

“That definitely was the one which modified the course of pop stars and main musicians taking that stage severely,” stated Seth Dudowsky, the pinnacle of music on the NFL. He’s the purpose individual for all musical activations for the league and a liaison with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which has produced the halftime present since 2019.

The NFL handles manufacturing prices and bills for performers — who don’t receives a commission — however the publicity to tons of of thousands and thousands of individuals worldwide is taken into account priceless.

Dudowsky recalled when Coldplay frontman Chris Martin stated the “Tremendous Bowl of music is the Tremendous Bowl.” He stated the halftime present has been capable of develop due to the NFL’s capability to regulate to the present tradition and giving deserving artists the platform to specific their artistry.

Some notable examples embody U2’s remembrance of the 9/11 victims; Beyoncé’s unapologetic Blackness and political activism by her Black energy anthem “Formation”; and the primary present to function hip-hop artists led by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in 2022.

“We actually wished to begin to concentrate on main into tradition,” stated Dudowsky, who has labored on the NFL since 2013 and attended 11 Tremendous Bowls. “Whether or not that’s the tradition of the town, what’s taking place in tradition at massive after which specializing in it in order that what we’re doing feels culturally related and utilizing that platform for artists to have the ability to be themselves and present their artwork on stage. … We would like them to really feel empowered.”

Dogg praised NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z for pushing the halftime present ahead. The league labored with Roc Nation to assist its Inspire Change initiative, created by the NFL after an settlement with a coalition of gamers who demonstrated in the course of the nationwide anthem to protest social and racial injustice on this nation.

“Shout out to Jay-Z for altering the local weather. Roger Goodell for giving him a chance,” Dogg stated. “That is music. The music that dictates the world is what’s acting at halftime now. They’re beginning to perceive that it’s about what these gamers need to hear, what these followers need to hear, and what’s universally efficient. It has no coloration on it now. Pop used to have a coloration on it. Now pop is fashionable. So, the preferred music is the music that we make. It is sensible to place these folks on there that make that music.”

Dogg stated Usher completely “matches the mildew to the fullest.

“He seems good. He dances good. He sounds good,” the rapper stated. “All of the above. And he’s received hit data. You need to see that. You need to see a performer carry out. You need to see an actual entertainer.”


Republished with permission of The Related Press.

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