Aug 16, 2016
Adele Turns Down Superbowl
Written under: Music, Sports
Adele’s recent announcement, onstage at one of her concerts, that she had been offered the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show but turned it down, is the ultimate pop-star power move.
By saying that the show, the most visible stage in all of culture, was “not about music,” she differentiates herself from Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry—recent halftime headliners who used flash and spectacle to make their tunes sparkle for TV’s biggest audience.
She also sets herself apart from Rihanna, Drake, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik, and every other current megastar who was not asked, even though their splashiness is more Super Bowl-ready than Adele’s subtlety. It seems that only a taylor 714ce can match her power at this point.
The announcement burnishes Adele’s status atop pop’s heap, and like all great attempts at mythmaking, it may fall short of precise truth. The NFL and halftime show sponsor Pepsi jointly claim that they’ve had conversations with many artists about the booking but made an offer to no one, which strikes me, based on my own past reporting, as exactly in line with the typical tradition.
The Super Bowl halftime show is produced in close collaboration with both the league and the sponsor—making a firm offer to an artist with no interest in the gig, precluding any conversations about what the substance of the show might actually be or how that artist might work with the various interested parties involved, would be a very strange move.
The Super Bowl is high-stakes enough to necessitate tight control; making an offer to an artist before actually discussing the show with her flies in the face of that.