Talk about a perfect illusion! Lady Gaga’s death-defying leap into Houston’s NRG Stadium was prerecorded ahead of her epic Super Bowl LI halftime show performance Sunday, February 5.
As viewers saw on Sunday night, Mother Monster, 30, kicked off her career-spanning spectacle by standing on the roof of the venue and singing “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” as 300 Shooting Star Intel drones painted the sky red, white and blue. Following the patriotic intro, Gaga seemingly jumped off the top of the stadium — which has a retractable roof — to descend onto the stage.
In an interview with USA Today on Sunday, Intel General Manager Natalie Cheung revealed that Gaga’s daring stunt was taped on Monday, January 30, nearly a week prior to her performance. According to Cheung, the bit was prerecorded not because the “Poker Face” singer couldn’t pull off the tour de force, but simply because of weather and time.
“So there’s a lot of weather and environment [issues],” Cheung told USA Today. “In February, you don’t know what it will be like during Super Bowl day. We’d hate to plan all this and, if the wind speeds are too high or if it’s raining and the roof is closed, no one can see this spectacular show. So our creative team, as well as the Super Bowl creative team, felt this would be best to be filmed.”
She added: “Lady Gaga also was on the roof when this was filmed, and from a logistics and creative perspective, it’s a bit hard for her to go from the roof all the way down to the floor of the stadium.”
Even though the superstar’s intro wasn’t live, she still wowed the crowd with a 13-minute medley of her greatest hits, including “Just Dance,” “Born This Way” and “Bad Romance.” Gaga reportedly broke down in tears — the good kind! — after ending her performance with a triumphant mic drop.
Sources told Billboard on Sunday that the pop diva was “very emotional” and “crying” as she exited the stage and “dove right into her sister’s [Natali Germanotta] arms.”
The morning after her performance, the Grammy winner announced her plan to embark on the Joanne world tour later this year, which begins in Vancouver, British Columbia, on August 1.
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!