Break out the fireworks, jumbo bananas, spark-shooting bras and pure joy of unapologetic pop music: Katy Perry will reportedly perform the Super Bowl 2015 halftime show.
According to multiple published reports, the reigning queen of Southern California pop and multiplatinum chanteuse will gig the coveted spot before a viewership that last year hit over 111 million people. She'll join past performers including Janet Jackson, Up With People, George Burns, Diana Ross, the Blues Brothers (featuring John Goodman and Jim Belushi), Nelly, U2, Bruce Springsteen, the Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars and others.
Perry, who rose to superstardom after her first hit, "I Kissed a Girl," which became an anthem of young desire in 2008, is one of the most successful pop stars in recent history. Her 2010 album, "Teenage Dream," is only the second album in Billboard chart history to amass five No. 1 singles; the other was Michael Jackson's "Bad." Her 2013 follow-up, "Prism," is nearly as potent, and features the empowering anthem "Roar."
Perhaps more important from the NFL's perspective, the naming of a woman to perform during the coveted slot is a potent symbol for a league suffering a series of blunders. Following an incident in which the Baltimore Ravens' star player Ray Rice was seen on a camera punching his fiancee in a hotel elevator, only to be initially scolded with a two-game suspension (he was later cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely), the NFL can use all the female energy it can find. (Requests for confirmation from Perry's team went unanswered.)
The league's response has alienated football's female fan base and, perhaps more pressing, advertisers who spend millions on TV spots during the Super Bowl. The game will air Feb. 1 on NBC.
Another glaring league misstep involved canceling a Rihanna appearance during a Thursday night football game, a move that seemed to some to punish the singer for her own experience being assaulted by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown. Prognosticators had wondered whether Rihanna may be a wild card choice for a league seeking to make amends.
Also rumored to be in the running were bland British rock band Coldplay, less bland hard rock band Foo Fighters (the obvious choice for many) and music parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic. Due to massive reach of the performance, early reports suggested that the NFL might even require the winning artist to pay a fee for the opportunity to play halftime.
Perry perhaps showed her hand when she appeared virtually out of the blue last week during ESPN's "College GameDay" broadcast. During an interview, she was asked about a potential Super Bowl gig.
Her coy response? “I’m not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl.”
At least some football fans would rather she didn't, payment or not. Wrote one commenter at NBC Sports' site: "Yeah I’d much rather see Nickelback. They actually have good football songs like 'This Means War' and 'Burn It to the Ground.'"
The most common reaction, though, illustrates the uphill battle the league faces. Many commenters gunning for a Perry appearance had one hope: "wardrobe malfunction."
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