The show went on.
In spite of controversy and criticism from the music community, Maroon 5 performed at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show Sunday, along with Atlanta native Big Boi and fellow rapper Travis Scott.
Prior to the game there was speculation the halftime show would also include a reunion of the hip hop group Outkast, as Andre 3000 joins Big Boi on the stage, CBS Sports reported. Big Boi fueled the speculation with a cryptic tweet, but his former band mate did not show up.
While there was interest in who might join the musical acts, it took a while for the NFL to confirm performers.
Pop star Rihanna was reportedly offered the chance to headline the halftime show but chose not to because of the controversy surrounding players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, US Weekly reported. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not played since he was one of the first players to make the protest against police brutality, according to the magazine.
Scott was wearing a black glove on his right hand during his halftime performance, with the Nike logo. Kaepernick endorses Nike products.
Fellow pop star Cardi B also said she declined to perform at the Super Bowl to “stand behind” Kaepernick, People magazine reported.
“I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him,” Cardi B said, according to the Associated Press.
Even after Maroon 5 was named as the headliner of the halftime show, a half dozen stars turned down offers to play with them, per Variety.
Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said any musician that performs was copping out, ABC News reported.
“It’s a cop-out when you start talking about, ‘I’m not a politician; I’m just doing the music.’ Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what’s going on here,” according to the TV news agency said.
Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters posted on Facebook that he wants Maroon 5, Big Boi and Travis Scott to take a knee during their halftime performance.
“My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight,” Waters wrote on Facebook. “I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister.”
Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5 defended his band’s decision to play on the NFL’s biggest stage.
“No one thought about it more than I did,” Levine said, Fox News reported. “No one put more thought and love into this than I did. ... I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt.”
Maroon 5 has been nominated for 13 Grammy awards, winning three times, according to the music award show’s website.