For years now, the most-coveted TV performance spot of the year — halftime at the Super Bowl — has been filled by a parade of classic rockers: Sir Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the Who.
But come this February 6, the Dallas Morning News reports, Cowboys Stadium in Dallas will be handed over to the Black Eyed Peas, marking the first time an urban/hip-hop act has played the gig since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s notorious “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004.
Though an NFL spokesperson told MTV News they had no comment on the booking at press time, the league typically announces the halftime performer around this time of year, and the paper cited a source close to the NFL for the information. The Peas will be in the midst of a promotional blitz for their upcoming album, The Beginning, the sequel to their multi-platinum smash, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies).
The Peas are used to playing to huge crowds, but the Super Bowl gig will easily be their biggest ever, as the game typically draws around 107 million viewers. It is not only usually the most-watched program of the year in the U.S., but also has a huge international viewership.
The News also sparked some speculation about what other performers might suit up for the festivities surrounding the big game, including the singing of the national anthem before kickoff. Following up on Carrie Underwood’s slot last February and Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson’s emotional take in 2009, the paper predicted that doing the honors in 2011 would be “a young, Middle America-appeal singer able to hit the notes, or an Oscar-winning R&B belter … think Beyoncé.” The latter makes a bit of sense, since Beyoncé is from Houston and is in the midst of recording a new album that could see release in 2011. Plus, she handled the job in her hometown in 2004.
As a sequel to Queen Latifah’s “America the Beautiful” last year, The News floated another Texas gal, Fort Worth’s Kelly Clarkson. “She’s got the combo — ‘American Idol’ champ, budding actress, feet in the pop, R&B and country worlds. And Texas credentials: She’s the big-voiced hometown gal from Burleson who recently sang the anthem for the World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.”
A spokesperson for the Peas deferred comment to the NFL.