It’s a topic that is already being debated almost as hotly as which teams will be in the Super Bowl itself.
And with Rihanna’s triumphant appearance at Super Bowl LVII, viewed by a global audience of over 118 million people, the stakes have never been higher for the NFL.
To help them make their choice, they have the help of legendary rapper Jay-Z who was made their official live music and social activism consultant back in 2019. As we’ll see, this may well have a bearing on the final selection.
There are a number of artists already in the frame. Whoever is selected knows that Rihanna isn’t the only tough act they have to follow if they want to go down in Super Bowl history.
The big names of the past
It stands to reason that it takes a performer capable of captivating a whole stadium to create an unforgettable half-time show.
So it’s no big surprise that it was Prince, back in 2007, who Rolling Stone magazine has hailed as the greatest of all time. The performance was made all the more dramatic as it played out in an epic Miami thunderstorm.
Before that, the standard was set in 2002 by a band that only knows how to play in megadomes everywhere, U2. Coming so soon after the tragic events of 9/11, the Irish band roused the crowd with a performance that struck the perfect note of spectacle and sensitivity.
When Lady Gaga got the gig in 2017 some were nervous that it would be totally inappropriate but, the consummate performer that she is, again the tone was just perfect for the occasion.
Safer women performers from Beyonce to Shakira and from Madonna to Missy Elliot have also wowed the crowd in the past – and it’s hotly tipped that it will be another solo female artist who will be taking the stage in 2024.
The front runners right now
Admittedly, this is all speculation at this point with no clues being given by either the NFL or Jay-Z. But if you wanted to take a guess then Taylor Swift would have to be near the top of your list as a likely star.
Currently wowing fans all over the world with her epic Eras tour, she ticks all of the boxes as a choice. Firstly, she’s never performed at a Super Bowl before. Secondly, as her shows lasting 3 hours and more demonstrate, she has a huge back catalogue of songs to choose from. Finally, as many fans can attest, she’s able to make a personal connection with every single member of her audience, however huge it is.
Unfortunately, US sportsbooks don’t currently allow betting on the half-time performer, but they certainly do on the game itself. So, any fans of the New Orleans Saints can certainly place a wager on them carrying off the Vincent Lombardi trophy next February. Louisiana bettors are used to competitive promos and they’re also likely to get very good odds this far in advance – two very good reasons to act now.
Back to possible performers, a more left-field choice could be Harry Styles. The UK-born performer has already been a big hit in the States, winning over millions of fans with his distinctive brand of performance. His role in the movie Don’t Worry Darling also introduced this undeniably charismatic performer to many more people who may never have heard his music before.
Another possible choice could be the Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny. Not only was he one of Spotify’s most-streamed artists in 2022, but he’s also believed to be on very friendly terms with Jay-Z, whose influence we have already mentioned. Whether this would be seen as a non-mainstream choice is debatable. But he’s sure to put on a good show if he does get chosen.
There are any number of other performers who could get the call with names like Dua Lipa mentioned and Miley Cyrus being mentioned. The huge success of Elton John at this year’s Glastonbury festival could also have put him in the running.
When will we know for sure?
In previous years there has been quite a lot of variation over when the announcement is made. For example, in the past, it has been as early as September or as late as the middle of January.
This is likely to be due to contractual wrangling with the performers and their management. Given that none are paid for the performance itself means there is a great deal of other negotiating to be done.
But whoever it is who takes the stage at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada on Sunday 11 February 2024 they will be gaining huge worldwide exposure.
Hopefully, they will also be putting on a show that will be quite unforgettable.