NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL on Sunday ended months of uncertainty by officially announcing Maroon 5, Big Boi and Travis Scott as the performers at this year's Super Bowl halftime show.
Maroon 5 had been the widely reported halftime show act since September, but the NFL didn't confirm the band as its headliner until Sunday. The league said Maroon 5 will be joined by Big Boi, the Atlanta-based rapper from Outkast, and Scott.
Though hometown artists are rare at the Super Bowl, the NFL came through this year with the Atlanta native known for being one half of the hip hop duo Outkast. He's listed as one of “a slate of guest artists" including Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott.
The show is being billed as “the broadest range of musical genres ever seen” at the Super Bowl.
Typically one of the most fiercely sought gigs in music, the Super Bowl halftime show has this year been the subject of boycott and protest. Numerous acts have turned down the NFL in support of Colin Kaepernick and other players who have taken a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice.
Gerald Griggs, vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, has said the NAACP asked performers who have signed up to reconsider their participation. More than 84,000 have signed an online petition urging Maroon 5 to withdraw from the Super Bowl "until the league changes their policy and support players' constitutional right to protest."
Billboard reported that Scott, who reportedly signed on in December, only agreed to perform if the NFL made a joint donation to an organization fighting for social justice. With the NFL, Scott made a $500,000 donation to Van Jones' Dream Corps.
This year's Super Bowl will be broadcast from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta by CBS on Feb. 3.
Meanwhile, a promotional video released by Maroon 5 and Big Boi on Twitter may only look like hype, but “SpongeBob SquarePants” fans were quick to point out a brief clip featuring the beloved cartoon character.
Following the death of “SpongeBob” creator Stephen Hillenburg in November 2018, fans started a Change.org petition in hopes of honoring the man with a Super Bowl performance of rock ballad “Sweet Victory."
In one episode, SpongeBob and his friends performed the song in the show’s own version of a Super Bowl halftime show.
The petition has since received more than 1 million signatures and Twitter shout-outs from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will be hosting Super Bowl LIII.
However, it remains to be seen if fans will see their wish honored come February.