When the NFL introduced at midnight ET that Apple Music is the new sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the Swift-iverse went into overdrive speculating that Taylor Swift will likely be the performer: The announcement was made at midnight, Taylor releases her new music at midnight (er, like 99% of all main artists in the streaming age) and her new album is known as “Midnights.”
With no disrespect to the Swifties, there are literally many more-tangible the explanation why Swift appears a probable front-runner for the Super Bowl Halftime Show — which, with an estimated 103 million viewers this 12 months, is the single largest platform for a music artist in the complete world.
More from Variety
First off, “Midnights” drops on Oct. 21 — and can virtually inevitably be adopted by a significant tour. Swift was scheduled to do a significant international stadium tour in 2020 in help of her 2019 album “Lover.” Obviously, as a consequence of the pandemic, it was restricted to a single preliminary efficiency in Paris in September of 2019, “City of Lover,” which aired on ABC and stays her final reside efficiency. Remarkably, “Midnights” will likely be the sixth album Swift may have launched in simply over three years: It joins “Lover,” her two pandemic-era albums “Folklore” and “Evermore,” and her two “Taylor’s Version” re-recordings of “Red” and “Fearless” — the rights to which, alongside together with her 4 different pre-“Lover” albums, had been offered in Scooter Braun’s controversial acquisition of the Big Machine Records catalog. Needless to say, she’s bought loads of materials to air.
All of which dovetails into the proven fact that the Super Bowl is more-often-than-not used as a teaser for a significant tour.
Yet a less-obvious purpose lies in the Apple Music announcement — or, reasonably, the proven fact that Pepsi introduced that it will not renew its ten-year-long sponsorship of the Halftime present this 12 months. The sponsorship started in 2013 — the similar 12 months that Swift launched an extended partnership with Pepsi’s decades-long arch-rival Coca-Cola. While sources reported that Swift’s take care of Coke prohibited her from enjoying a Pepsi-sponsored Halftime present, whether or not or not it did, it will have been awkward. (Of course, there was Swift’s 2015 criticism of the then-new streaming service over the proven fact that it wasn’t paying royalties on music performed in trial variations, however it shortly modified the coverage and was even the unique streaming platform for her music till 2017.)
Finally, there’s a extra advanced matter: After years of criticism over its dealing with of race-related points that climaxed with Colin Kaepernick’s efficient banishment from skilled soccer, the National Football League made a powerful effort to alter the narrative by hanging a long-term partnership in 2019 with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation group on leisure — together with the halftime present. The previous three years have featured entertainers of coloration virtually solely: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020), the Weeknd (2021) and this 12 months’s multi-artist basic hip-hop extravaganza, helmed by Dr. Dre and that includes Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent, with Anderson .Paak on drums. While Swift is clearly a white girl, the previous three years have gone a good distance towards addressing the downside, and it appears attainable that she would usher in performers of coloration to hitch her (though we gained’t maintain our breath ready for Kendrick Lamar to reprise his efficiency on Swift’s “Bad Blood” remix).
And lastly, three sources near the scenario inform Variety that it’s taking place.
Reps for Swift, Roc Nation and the NFL didn’t instantly reply to Variety’s requests for remark.
Best of Variety