The National Football League announced the newest performer to grace the stage in its coveted Super Bowl halftime show spot. This year’s halftime show star is global pop superstar Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga confirmed the news on her Twitter feed, saying, “It’s not an illusion. The rumors are true. This year the SUPER Bowl goes GAGA!”
The show is the most-watched American music event, and more than 116.5 million people tuned in to watch last year’s show. Much speculation has surrounded who the NFL would choose this year.
Curiosity piqued particularly after Adele was quoted in August saying she turned the opportunity down. However, names like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift all remained in the running. Rumors suggested the NFL courted Lady Gaga heavily after she performed the National Anthem at the game last year to great critical acclaim.
Still, speculation continued in part because of the mixed reviews that followed Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay’s performance last year.
As the official pick, Lady Gaga joins a storied list of musical talent who have previously taken the stage. Recent artists to get the nod include Beyonce, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Madonna, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Prince, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, and U2.
Lady Gaga shot to stardom with the success of her first single, “Just Dance,” in 2009. Since then, she has released four studio albums, and the last three of those have hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Her fifth album, Joanne, is slated for release on October 21. The singer has taken home six Grammy Awards, was awarded the title Billboard’s Woman of the Year. She also won a Gold Globe Award in January for her performance on American Horror Story: Hotel on FX.
The pop star has earned more than a few high-profile appearances over the past five three years. In 2015, she performed at the Academy Awards. The next year, she was nominated for an Oscar for “Til It Happens to You,” which she wrote for The Hunting Ground. She has also performed several high-profile covers. Lady Gaga performed a David Bowie tribute at the 2015 Grammy Awards, where she covered “Rebel, Rebel” and “Space Oddity.”
After last year’s performance by Beyonce, which briefly paid tribute to the Black Panthers, some say it is possible that Gaga might use the platform to send her own message. Lady Gaga’s non-profit, the Born This Way Foundation, helps combat bullying and aims to help find a “braver, kinder world” for youth everywhere. She is also outspoken regarding LGBT rights.
It is also possible that she might collaborate with another artist. She has not collaborated with a long list of artists over her eight-year career, but she has connected with several talented artists.
Gaga has previously collaborated with Tony Bennet. Jake Clemons is another possibility. Clemons is the nephew of Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Perhaps her most famous collaboration has been with Beyoncé. The pair collaborated on Gaga’s song “Telephone” in 2009. They also worked on Beyonce’s song “Video Phone” in 2008. However, the two stars have never performed the songs they worked on together live on the same stage.
The confirmation that Lady Gaga is set to take the stage this year is only the beginning of the news. On Sunday, October 2, the FOX NFL Sunday Pregame Show will air an exclusive interview with Lady Gaga, where she is expected to outline some of what she has planned for the 51st Super Bowl event.
[Featured Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Images]