Football season may have just begun, but the Super Bowl officials are already thinking of making Rihanna the next headlining performer for halftime. The Bajan beauty is not the only chart-topping performer set as a finalist to follow in Bruno Mars’ footsteps and brave the stage this coming Superbowl. Katy Perry and Coldplay are also in the line-up for the national event, but it will not come easy — or free.
For the first time in NFL history, the league is asking the top three performance choices to pay-to-play during the coveted halftime time slot. In another dose of slight greed, the league proposes that performers no longer will get a free ride to entertain millions. According to the Wall Street Journal, this year will mark the first time a singer has to pay to perform on one of the largest watched segments on television. This coming year, performers are given a choice: fork over some of their earnings to touch the Super Bowl stage or give some proceedings from their following tour to pay for the opportunity to play.
Although the option shows greed at its finest, the league is not budging from this new rule. Whether the stars want to pay or not, the exposure for a great performance can increase their ticket and album sales exponentially. Last year’s performer Bruno Mars stunned and entertained over 100 million people at the Metlife stadium. The singer did not walk away with a check, per se, but the exposure brought in the dividends. In previous years, Beyonce’s performance saw the rise in sales of her album 4 increase 59 percent. She also amassed a series of Twitter jokes, as an electrical outage followed her taking the stage. The year prior, Madonna saw her musical catalog sales rise over 410 percent.
Looks like a price can be put on fame and the NFL just wants to be the first to get their check for giving singers airtime. However, are the three singers proposed to appear in this year’s Super Bowl in need of the mass exposure?
Katy Perry is not short of fandom; her sophomore project Teenage Dream has sold over five million copies worldwide, produced six singles, and holds the record with Michael Jackson’s Bad with five number singles from one album. She has embarked on a world tour to support the album, making additional revenue from that. Her latest project, Prism, is not in the same field of success, but it is nowhere near a flop.
Coldplay’s third studio release X&Y has the distinction of being the top-selling album of 2005 and their musical catalog has sold over 80 million records worldwide. For a Super Bowl performance, the group is more on the softer rock side of the musical spectrum and not the most high-energy.
Although singer Rihanna has been relatively quiet on the music scene since her 2012 release Unapologetic, the singer holds the record for the youngest artist to have 13 number one singles on the Billboard charts. Also, she has sold over 190 million singles and 50 million albums worldwide. Rihanna is the youngest to hold that accolade, but performing to a live audience over 100 million is something the young starlet has yet to achieve.
All three stars are not short of exposure, but all three have either recently released new projects or are in need of some rising sales for upcoming works. Rihanna as a Super Bowl performer would be the strongest option to capture a wider range of younger viewers, but performing live during a 15 minute set may not prove to be successful for the Bajan beauty. Only time will tell who will take on the challenge, but the three competitors will still have to cut the league a check for taking the stage and the exposure.
By Tyler Cole