Who says no to the Super Bowl? These guys! Some stars have turned down the opportunity to perform during football’s biggest game of the year. Among them? Rihanna, who passed on an opportunity to sing, dance and promote her music brand at Super Bowl LIII in 2019. The superstar nixed a halftime show performance in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s #TakeAKnee movement. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what?” Rihanna told Vogue of her decision. “Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.” Keep reading for more stars from the music world who’ve turned down the Super Bowl halftime show spotlight…
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Another star we know who’s turned down the Super Bowl? JAY-Z! The rapper confirmed that he said no via his song “Apes***” with wife Beyonce. On the track, he raps, “I said no to the Super Bowl: You need me, I don’t need you / Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.” The Source reported that Jay said no to the 2018 halftime show, which Justin Timberlake ended up doing. In 2019, Jay sparked criticism when he and his company Roc Nation inked a deal to team up with the NFL for a multiyear partnership intended to “enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts,” the NFL explained in a statement. The move meant Jay would play a role in selecting which artists perform at NFL events including the Super Bowl.
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Rumors circulated that Cardi B was requesting a million dollars to join Maroon 5 on stage during the band’s 2019 Super Bowl performance — a pairing that made sense considering she rapped on Adam Levine and company’s song “Girls Like You.” But according to Page Six, “There was never a firm offer to begin with for a performance.” Following those rumors, it was reported that Cardi was choosing to abstain from a halftime show performance in order to back Colin Kaepernick’s take-a-knee cause.
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The 2017 Super Bowl wasn’t for Adele. The superstar singer addressed rumors she was performing at the NFL’s big game during one of her concerts, telling the audience: “First of all, I’m not doing the Super Bowl. I mean, come on, that show is not about music. And I don’t really — I can’t dance or anything like that. They were very kind, they did ask me, but I did say no.”
OutKast was a potential Super Bowl halftime show act once. In 2015, Big Boi spilled the tea while appearing on ESPN’s “The Dan LeBatard Show,” sharing that they were once invited to perform their hits like “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya!” but Andre 3000 refused to cut down their songs, leading them to turn down the gig.
Pink was reportedly up for the Super Bowl halftime show slot in 2019, but we won’t be hearing any of her catchy tunes on Super Bowl Sunday. Though she performed the national anthem at the 2017 Super Bowl, it appears that was plenty for the pop star.
When Maroon 5 was looking for artists to join them on stage during the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in 2019, they reportedly approached Mary J. Blige. The singer declined, allegedly due to a scheduling conflict.
Maroon 5 and Usher? The “Yeah!” singer was reportedly another artist who was in talks to join the rock band on the halftime show stage in 2019, but it’s been claimed he said no because he just wasn’t into it.
Nicki Minaj was another star reportedly courted by Maroon 5 to perform alongside the band at Super Bowl LIII in 2019, but she also said no. (She’s also already done the halftime show: She joined Madonna on stage at the Super Bowl in 2012.)
There are also rumors that Maroon 5 reached out to Lauryn Hill to join them on stage for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, but she reportedly turned down the opportunity too.
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