Perhaps, Adele is the smartest person in the room after all. Sorry fans, but the rumors you heard about the “Hello” singer headlining Super Bowl 51 are false — and it may be in her best interests to have declined the offer.
Let’s agree: One of the truest tests of celebrity stardom is being asked to perform at the Super Bowl. It’s the ultimate rite of passage for any person in the industry and signals that you’ve arrived — like big time. In fact, one could say that it’s an honor to attend America’s biggest television spectacle.
NFL’s biggest game got its start in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers took on and bested the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, according to History. Back then, halftime shows consisted largely of “traditional acts” like Mickey Rooney and Ella Fitzgerald, according to a report by Vogue.
The shows were quite drab, but — in the spirit of former Idol judge, Simon Cowell, “safe.” In other words, the entertainers, well — entertained, long enough for viewers and ticket holders to get a potty break, grab a hotdog, make a beer run, and wait until the third quarter began.
Soon, citing a CBS report, those lackluster acts were replaced by singers and groups like 1991’s New Kids on the Block who went full mawkish (I’m still scratching my head off their rendition of “It’s a Small World (After all”) to Michael Jackson’s Super Bowl XXVII memorable halftime performance in 1993.
— Michael Jackson (@mj_new_cd) August 14, 2016
Jackson’s 13-minute show still stands the test of time and is considered the best performance ever. You know you were among those who looked on (or fainted) over his three-minute stare into, gosh, who knows. It was MJ showing the world why he is the King of Pop and chock full of awesomeness.
Of course, Jackson sang a medley of his greatest hits, but it was his dancing and show-stopping special effects that set the bar for future acts. Since then, others have tried to emulate him, but fell short at duplicating Michael Jackson. Perhaps, that’s why Adele is choosing to stay in her lane. After all, the U.K. songstress is not known for fancy footwork (like Jackson and Bruno Mars) and dropping it like it’s hot with titillating hip action (Beyonce). Let’s face it: Adele is a pure singer, in every syllable of the word.
Days ago, rumors begin surfacing on the internet that multi-time Grammy-winning singer, Adele, was headlining Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas, next year. Variety wrote that the Sun was the first to run the story, stating that it had a well-placed source that said NFL officials are “doing absolutely everything they can to try to persuade her to sign up. She’s sold out every date on her tour, everyone wants a piece of her and they know they can bank on her bringing in the viewers.”
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) August 14, 2016
For Adelecoholics, who can’t make her North American Live 2016 tour, the big game was consolation. However, the “Someone Like You” singer denied the rumors, thereby deflating fans’ hopes of a possible meet-and-greet and moment to see the singer in the flesh.
During a performance in Los Angles on Saturday night, Adele addressed the rumors in between songs.
“First of all, I’m not doing the Super Bowl. I mean, come on, that show is not about music. And I don’t really… I can’t dance or anything like that. They were very kind, they did ask me, but I did say no. I’m sorry. Maybe next time, for my next album, because I’m going to do a dance album next time. So maybe I’ll do it then.”
Some took her response as a slight of other performers. While it sounds plausible; the singer’s known for her brutal honesty, I took her comments as an acknowledgment of her strengths and weaknesses. I also noticed she has a penchant for standup comedy. Surely, it would be earth-shattering to witness Adele dabbing or shaking what her mama gave her, but — in the spirit of Donald Trump, “It ain’t happening, folks.”
Which brings me to my point. It’s just as well that she doesn’t accept the offer. One only has to look back at a few acts that fell victim to the Super Bowl Halftime “curse.” Earlier, I mentioned NKOTB with their Looney Tunes-esque performance. Yea, a Disney choir backed them, but you get my point.
Moving on, we all recall Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction (infamously referred to as “Nipplegate”) during her halftime performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Super Bowl. And most recently, Super Bowl 50’s halftime show with Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce, entered the annals of halftime horrors. Critics assailed them for anemic performances (sorry, Chris Martin) and hints of Black Panther radicalism (Queen Bey), to name a few.
All of the above celebs are still catching flack over their performances — or the lack thereof, today. It may suit Adele to stay on the sidelines and stay focused on her upcoming shows stateside.
With Adele out of the picture, whom will the league turn to now? Forget retired NBA Tim Duncan; he recently turned down President Barack Obama’s invitation to fly aboard Air Force One to the Rio Olympics, according to Sports Illustrated. Besides, can you see the former San Antonio Spurs star sing or cut a rug in his seven-foot frame?
I’m suddenly reminded that Shaq proved he could bust a move. So, perhaps, just perhaps, anything is possible.
[Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images]