The Super Bowl halftime show has become as large and extravagant as the game and the commercials. Not only are the performer selections treated as major news, but the artists themselves are also trotted out months ahead of time like human billboards. And for Super Bowl XLIX, the NFL has tabbed recording artists Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz as Super Bowl halftime show performers.
Perry is the multi-million album selling pop artist best known for hits like "I Kissed a Girl," "California Gurls" and "Firework." Her 2010 album Teenage Dream became just the second ever to produce five No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and her most recent release Prism yielded multiple hits including "Roar" and "Dark Horse." She has also collaborated with music superstars like Snoop Dogg and Juicy J. Perry becomes the first female artist to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show since Beyoncé in 2013.
As for the halftime show's other headliner, Kravtiz is a multi-instrumentalist genre-defying singer-songwriter. He began performing in 1978 as a 14-year-old wunderkind and transformed into a top-selling solo artist in the 1990s. His biggest hits include "Fly Away," "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "It Ain't Over Til It's Over." His last album, Strut, climbed to No. 19 on the U.S. charts, his seventh top 20 album domestically.
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Super Bowl Halftime Show
Like most Super Bowl Halftime shows, the NFL is sure to have several surprise guest appearances during the performance. One name which has leaked is Missy Elliott. Elliott, a 43-year-old hip-hop and R&B artist, will join Perry and Kravitz at some point in the show. She has a host of accolades to her name, including seven BET awards, five Billboard Music and most impressively, five Grammies. In the past, musicians like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slash from Guns N' Roses, and Usher have shown up at the Super Bowl. Perry has given no indication as to who might find their way on stage, but the names may begin to leak out in the days leading up to the big game.
Booking Perry and Kravitz continues a recent trend of gearing the Super Bowl halftime show toward younger audiences. After the infamous "Nipplegate" incident during Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's performance in 2004, the league moved away from contemporary entertainers towards classic rock acts like the Paul McCarthy, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Rolling Stones. However, beginning with the Black Eyed Peas in 2011, more current musicians with greater appeal to the key 18-49 demographic have played the halftime show such as last year's Bruno Mars appearance.
Neither Perry nor Kravitz is a stranger to playing for huge national audiences. Perry has performed everywhere from the Grammys to Rock in Rio while Kravitz played at a Jets-Patriots Thanksgiving game and the prestigious CFL Grey Cup game in recent years. He also portrayed the character Cinna in The Hunger Games films. Perry is also a spokesperson for national brands like Adidas, CoverGirl Cosmetics, and Pop Chips.
The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC.