98 Degrees, Busta, Skynyrd, Q-Tip, Mobb Deep Lined Up For Super Bowl Concerts

In an attempt to stretch the magic that is Super Bowl week, the NFL has landed teen dreams 98 Degrees, hip-hop wild man Busta Rhymes, southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd, and a host of others for a string of concerts leading up to the annual game.

When the sports world sets its sights on Atlanta later this month for Super Bowl XXXIV (set for the Georgia Dome on January 30), the NFL will start the party early with four concerts in the days before the Super Bowl.

The "Under The Helmet" concert series (an extension of the weekly Fox-TV show of the same name) will bring 98 Degrees to the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, January 27, and will then see Mobb Deep, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, and Rah Digga roll into the same venue the following night.

Not to be confused with the "Under The Helmet" concert series, the NFL will also stage its Super Bowl XXXIV concert series that week. On Thursday, January 27 Martina McBride (with Lonestar) and Tim Rushlow of Little Texas

will play the Fox Theater, while Lynyrd Skynyrd will hit the theater on Friday night.

The shows look to expand the NFL Experience, the interactive theme park and all-around party that the league stages around the Super Bowl each year. The event is now entering its ninth year and is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the NFL/Youth Education Town in Atlanta, an education and recreation facility for at-risk youth.

While Super Bowl entertainment in years past has long been linked with the broad, white smiles of Up With People-type musical revues, the NFL has done its part to hip things up in recent years. This year's Super Bowl will see Madonna and Tina Turner heat up the pre-game festivities while Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, and Enrique Iglesias will perform at halftime (see "Madonna To Premiere 'American Pie' During Super Bowl Pregame").

This year's concert series also follows

the inroads that "Under The Helmet" made into the world of music this year. The teen-oriented NFL show opened its doors to music acts this time around and managed to reel in Puff Daddy, Creed, Eve, Warren G., Everlast, Goo Goo Dolls, Static-X, Ed Lover and Dr. Dre, Lit, Our Lady Peace, and others this season.

-- Robert Mancini

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