Super Bowl Halftime Show Performers: Who Has Turned It Down?

Super Bowl 2021 Halftime Show Performance

YouTube The Weeknd participates in a video for the NFL ahead of his Super Bowl halftime performance.

The Super Bowl halftime show is watched by millions of people every year, and this year should be no different. Each year, the reasons an artist accepts or rejects the chance to perform at the Super Bowl changes, and this year, The Weeknd will be taking on the huge opportunity.

The Weeknd will perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, which will take place in Tampa Bay, Florida. The artist has promised a family-friendly performance at the show.

Of course, The Weeknd was not the only artist in mind for this year’s Super Bowl. Read on to learn more about who has turned down the show not only this year but also in past years.


Artists Have Turned Down Performing to Avoid Controversies

Pink told Billboard in late October 2019 that she was given the opportunity to perform in the 2020 Super Bowl and didn’t take it because she supported Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the performance of the National Anthem during games to protest police brutality. She said she would have dropped to her knee in solidarity if she had chosen to perform.

“I’d probably take a knee and get carried out,” she told Billboard. She went on to talk about who would get the performance in her place.

Rihanna also reportedly turned down past Super Bowl offers, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The outlet also speculates that if Rihanna ever wants to perform at the show, she will have a guaranteed slot.

Because of the NFL’s stance on Colin Kaepernick, stars have been turning down the Super Bowl Half Time show regularly since 2018. That year, it was reported that Rihanna turned down the opportunity to perform in solidarity with Kaepernick.

Another star who says they have turned down the show is Adele. The performer claims she turned down the show for 2017, though an NFL statement said she was never offered it.

“First of all, I’m not doing the Super Bowl,” Adele told her audience at a show in Los Angeles. “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.”

Other artists that have turned down the show include Jay-Z and Cardi B, Billboard reported. The latter said she refused to perform at the Super Bowl until Kaepernick is rehired.


Super Bowl Half-Time Shows Lead to Scrutiny & Sometimes Controversy

The first, most well-known controversial Super Bowl halftime show was in 2004 when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson took the stage for half-time at the Super Bowl. While performing, Janet Jackson had a huge wardrobe malfunction, and the show stayed away from pop performers for a number of years afterward.

Since 2011, performers have included The Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5. Most acts brought guest performers to deliver a more energetic show.

In 2020, when Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were the performers at the halftime show, some people were upset with what they called an “obscene” performance, according to SB Nation.

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