The National Football League’s championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will take place at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday (11 February), with the kickoff set for 6.30pm ET/11pm GMT.
As the 12 to 14-minute halftime slot has typically been offered to well-established artists, headliners often put together a set of their biggest hits.
And while the gig has been associated with being a pinnacle of success for artists and an opportunity to put their talent on display for a global audience, many fans may be surprised to find out that it comes with a $0 paycheck.
The NFL, however, does cover “all costs associated with the show and does pay the halftime performers’ union scale”, a representative confirmed to The Independent.
Instead, the gig offers valuable exposure that, in a sense, acts as free advertising for an artist’s body of work.
When it was first announced that Usher would be headlining the halftime show, Billboard reported that the singer’s catalogue had risen to over 7.8 million in total official on-demand US streams from Sunday to Monday (24 to 25 September), as compared to just under 6.8 million, during the previous Sunday to Monday (17 to 18 September).
His digital song sales also more than doubled during that period of time, up 128 per cent to over 1,500. His latest released hit, “Good Good”, with 21 Savage and Summer Walker, was up five per cent with 1.1 million streams, while his other classics including “Yeah!” and “DJ Got Us Fallin in Love” were up 13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.
Past performers Lopez and Shakira reportedly saw an exponential spike – 335 per cent and 230 per cent respectively – in listening streams following their 2020 halftime show.
Last year’s performer Rihanna, who is worth an estimated $1.7bn, released a special 17-piece Super Bowl-inspired collection with her company Savage x Fenty. The items in the collection ranged from $32.95 for a Fenty Super Bowl beanie to $112 for a “Property of Fenty” hoodie emblazoned with “Savage x Fenty LVII” on the back.
Days before Usher takes the global stage in February, this time as the main event – he previously made an appearance during the Black Eyed Peas’ 2011 Super Bowl halftime show – he will release his ninth studio album, COMING HOME.
Scheduled to release on 9 February, fans can expect the album to include singles like “Good Good” featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage, “Risk It All” with HER, and “Standing Next To You” with Jung Kook.
Speaking about his halftime show preparation in a recent interview with Vogue, he acknowledged: “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I want people who have been a part of that journey to feel like it’s a celebration for everybody.
“This night was specifically curated in my mind to have R&B take the main stage,” Usher teased. “I want the world to smile when they look at me. I want them to feel something, and feel my passion, my love, feel like I was the right person to sit in this position, and I was the right person to bring this kind of energy, and love, and connection to the entire world.”