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Millennials overtake the Super Bowl halftime show

by Melissa Mora

On Sept. 19, Variety addressed the topic of the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show and announced that Maroon 5 is said to be the headlining performer, with Cardi B and Travis Scott as special guests. Billboard then confirmed it, but the artists themselves and the NFL have yet to make any confirmation of the rumor.

The 53rd annual championship game will take place on Feb. 3, 2019, at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mainstream artists such as Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and Beyoncé have performed at the Super Bowl in recent years. It would be a big deal for new artists like Cardi B and Travis Scott to be performing at the same level as those musicians.

Over the past few years, it’s been millennials showing the most interest in the halftime show. Because of this, the performers have transitioned from artists of the Rock genre to Pop or R&B music to fit the viewers’ demands.

A Forbes article pointed out that Adam Levine, Maroon 5’s frontman, has been a coach on The Voice for eight years now, since its debut back in 2011. The talent show airs on NBC which could cause issues for Levine, seeing as how the Super Bowl will be aired on NBC’s rival network, CBS.

With the selection of Maroon 5 being revealed to the world, the responses have not been the best. From the countless tweets and posts on social media, the general public is not happy with the decision.  

Many people have argued that the NFL could have chosen artists who are native to Atlanta, such as Usher, T.I. or Migos, instead of Maroon 5, to perform the show.

According to Billboard, “the band doesn’t quite have the legacy or esteem of a classic rock act like previous performers such as The Who or Bruce Springsteen, and arguably lacks the contemporary vibrancy of a current pop hitmaker like recent headliners like, Beyoncé or Bruno Mars.” They also added that the group is composed of straight Caucasian men, and that this could be problematic during a time when cultural institutions are being tested to be more diverse in their choice of performers and honorees.

The shift in the viewer’s interest could be a generational shift. It may stem from the fact that as generations change, so do social rules which include the music people listen to and what people are open and accepting of in terms of artistry.

The main focus of the Super Bowl used to be the actual game itself, now the younger generation has started to participate in watching the most televised event of the year just for the halftime show.

When the game is over, people discuss the halftime show more than they do the game. These conversations continue on through longer than just that Sunday night. Social media posts prove that people review the performance, if the performer did a good job or not, rather than who won the championship.

Regardless of what is being speculated about the performances and whether or not they will be worth watching, these artists may have a chance to possibly change some minds and draw in audience members that have strayed.

Melissa Mora can be reached at Melissa.mora@spartans.ut.edu

 

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