Representatives for John Legend, Metallica and Billy Joel have blasted National Football League bosses for reportedly asking next year’s potential Super Bowl half-time performers to donate a portion of their post-show tour profits in order to appear.
Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to perform at the football game in Glendale, Arizona in February, and NFL executives have asked them to give up cash they earn after the big show, insisting the Super Bowl gig is a huge money-earner for the act chosen to headline.
But the reported “pay to play” request has been met with ire.
Metallica, Billy Joel and Rush’s agent Dennis Arfa says, “Halftime’s for sale! If I was a young band, and I had a billionaire backer, I’d buy my way to the Super Bowl – everybody would know me after the Super Bowl. But is Paul McCartney going to pay? I doubt it.”
Meanwhile, John Legend and John Mayer’s manager Troy Carter adds, “I’m not sure what artist in their right mind would give up a piece of their touring or ancillary sales to play the Super Bowl. If the NFL wants to charge artists to perform, I would just counter-program with another network and create our own halftime show.
“Let’s say you put Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Meghan Trainor on one show during halftime – I’d be willing to bet you’re going to get a pretty big audience.”
In the past, performers have not paid or been paid for their top billing during the sports telecast, but they have been compensated for travel and production expenses.