Hard pass. Though many musicians would jump at the chance to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Gloria Estefan just couldn’t be bothered to deal with all of the preparation involved.
“I didn’t want to go on a diet in December,” the “Get On Your Feet” singer joked during a June 2022 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen after confirming that she turned down the chance to perform with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira two years earlier. Estefan’s comments came shortly after the “Lets Get Loud” singer made headlines by expressing her frustration at co-headlining the event in the Netflix documentary, Halftime.
“We have six f—king minutes. We have 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that’s it, we’ve got five left. But there’s got to be certain songs that we sing, though. We have to have our singing moments. It’s not going to be a dance f—king revue,” Lopez said in the film. “We have to sing our message. … This is the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world.”
On WWHL, Estefan explained that she understood why the NFL decided to ask both singers to perform at the big game. “Look, this is the bottom line. You have very little time, like 12 minutes or something, to get things on and off the set,” she said at the time. “So, could you do it with one person? Yes, but I think they wanted to throw a Miami and Latin extravaganza and they tried to pack it as much as possible.”
The Grammy winner continued: “OK, and imagine what J.Lo would have said if I was the third [performer]! I literally would come out, done ‘Shake Your Body’ [and ‘Conga’] and out. It was their moment.”
Estefan is far from the first performer to speak out about skipping the ceremony. In February 2020, Jay Z revealed that he had previously been asked to perform at the halftime show — provided that he include “Run This Town” in his set and invite both Kanye West and Rihanna onstage with him. “Of course I would have [asked them],” he told The New York Times at the time, “but I said, ‘No, you get me.’ That is not how you go about it, telling someone that they’re going to do the halftime show contingent on who they bring. I said forget it. It was a principle thing.”
He continued: “The problem with the N.F.L. is [they] all think hip-hop is still a fad when hip-hop has been the dominant music form around the world for 20 years.”
Even after he was brought on by the league to be the official Live Music Entertainment Strategist in 2019, Jay Z has continued to call out the NFL for the way they approach the Halftime Show. “We love each other. Like, not secretly, like publicly, we love each other,” Snoop Dogg, who performed in February 2022 alongside Dr. Dre, said in a March interview with Tidal, revealing that the “99 Problems” rapper stepped in when censors threatened the planned show. “For him to go to bat for us and tell the NFL, ‘F–k that. They perform or I quit,’ that was the most gangster s–t out of everything.”
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