After months of controversy surrounding the Super Bowl halftime show, in which multiple acts reportedly turned down the slot in solidarity with former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Maroon 5 finally took the stage on Sunday night with Travis Scott and Big Boi.
The band was joined by Big Boi and Travis Scott as they blazed through songs from Songs About Jane, and more recent hits, like "Moves Like Jagger".
It was then back to Maroon 5 for Girls Like You and She Will Be Loved, before Big Boi rode in on a Cadillac convertible, minus his Outkast co-star Andre 3000, for The Way You Move. Maroon 5's halftime performance was criticized before frontman Adam Levine took the stage and they didn't do much to change that early judgment call.More news: Closs kidnapping, murder suspect due in court Wednesday for preliminary hearing
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During a light show, cartoon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants made an appearance on big video monitors. In response, this year's Super Bowl performers are making a joint donation with the National Football League of $500,000 (£389k) to a social justice cause. Unfortunately, the tribute wasn't what fans had hoped for but don't worry: fans are fixing that oversight by giving Super Bowl audiences the "Sweet Victory" they were looking for. For the last song, Levine took off his shirt, showing off his tattooed body to millions of viewers around the world. "I know it must sound like a privilege ass sacrifice but it's all i got", in an Instagram caption in October. Out of the fire, Travis Scott emerged in flames on stage. Kaepernick has filed a lawsuit agains the NFL, claiming that they tried to lock him out from league after he repeatedly kneeled during pre-game playings of the U.S. national anthem as a protest against police brutality towards African Americans.
Yet during the halftime show itself, SpongeBob fans everywhere were left disappointed.
Controversy and pay aside, there's still a major upside for the artists to performing at the Super Bowl. Not only is the title fitting for the occasion and says it all, but the chorus ("Welcome to Atlanta, where the players play") couldn't have been any more ideal and a great save for this otherwise awkward situation. But should we have a few more years like this, the halftime show will become what the opposition response to the State of the Union address is to politics: a thankless job that can only end in embarrassment (here's looking at you, Stacey Abrams).