The Super Bowl Halftime show was nothing short of epic! The star-studded cast was helmed by Dr. Dre and featured heavy hitters Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and special guest 50 Cent. Fans have long awaited for the moment to arrive ever since it was announced on Thursday, September 30th, 2021, and it absolutely did not disappoint. But as reported before, the performers selected to headline the Pepsi Super Bowl half-time slot don’t get paid. That did not stop the super producer from investing millions of his own dollars to ensure that the show was terrific.
Sunday, February 13th, was a great and historical day for Hip-Hop and R&B. In the past, Hip-Hop has found representation speckled on to the Pepsi stage. In 2001, Nelly hopped on stage during Aerosmith’s performance to interpose his hit “E.I.” in their song, while Mary J. Blige made her first appearance alongside the legendary group.
P. Diddy appeared with Janet Jackson during her infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show, bringing back Nelly one more time. In 2011, The Black Eyed Peas were in charge of headlining duties, and Usher was brought out as a special guest.
Who could forget 2013 when many couldn’t wait to watch the half-time show as Beyonce was the announced performer. (Who could also forget the 33-minute power outage that occurred following the performance that many believed her show was the cause of.) Not only did the “Single Ladies” chart-topper blaze the stage, but she brought along some old friends, Destiny’s Child, to turn up the heat.
The year before, Nicki Minaj made her Super Bowl debut, performing alongside headliner Madonna and fellow guest Cee-Lo Green. Then, in 2015, Katy Perry was given the opportunity to headline the Half-Time show. However, amid the sharks and colorful stage design, fans were ecstatic to witness Missy Elliot turn it out and “Get Her Freak On.”
2016 was an exciting year as Coldplay was the Super Bowl headliner. However, many fans tend to forget that as Beyonce and Bruno Mars tag-teamed in the midst of the set to bring the “Uptown Funk” and get in “Formation.” Don’t believe me? Just watch! (We couldn’t resist.) Maroon 5 was given headlining duties in 2019 when the Super Bowl hit Atlanta. However, Hip-Hop was definitely represented when Travis Scott appeared on stage as well as ATL’s own Big Boi. And while Jennifer Lopez and The Weeknd technically are not considered to be Hip-Hop (or maybe even R&B artists), they have had very close affiliations and are a constant in the culture.
But while these are some of the biggest names to grace the entertainment industry and are all deserving of whatever dollar amount they demand, they’ve all done it for free. Good Morning Gorgeous singer Mary J. Blige recently touched on the subject prior to her iconic performance on Sunday at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. “Listen, you’re going to be paid for the rest of your life off of this,” said Mary J. Blige. However, she stressed that the opportunity is going to “open many doors” for her, perhaps that she’s never walked through before (albeit Blige has achieved so much in her career.)
Co-produced along with wit Roc Nation, it was revealed that Dr. Dre chose to invest millions of dollars of his own money into making the show a success. Initially, an undisclosed amount, a recent tweet from sports journalist Nathan Baugh and Yahoo both claims that Dr. Dre invested $7 million of his own money.
While the artists don’t receive their standard pay for the performance, the NFL does cover the hefty expenses that the show may cost. Artists, however, tend to see a jump in their sales and streaming numbers following their performances. A quick glance at the current iTunes charts proves this, as Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” and a slew of Dr. Dre’s music ascended to the top ten.
Past headliners of the Super Bowl Half Time show have also used the opportunity to launch different eras in their careers. Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Bruno Mars all announced brand new albums, tours, and/or projects following their performances.