Husband, daddy, pop star, coach on The Voice — Adam Levine is juggling a lot of balls these days, so why not throw an actual ball into the mix? A football to be precise. Because according to Us Weekly, Levine’s band, Maroon 5, will be headlining the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII.
“The offer has been extended and they’ve pretty much accepted,” an insider reportedly told Us. Two sources have since confirmed the news to Variety, although reps for Maroon 5 and the NFL have yet to respond to Variety’s requests for comment. Journalist Eric Alper also reported on Twitter that rumored musicians believed to currently be on the short list for guest appearances are Cardi B and Travis Scott.
Maroon 5 will be headlining the Super Bowl LIII Halftime show, a source confirms to Billboard. While special guest appearances for the performance have not yet been finalized, Cardi B and Travis Scott are on the short list, Billboard has also learned. pic.twitter.com/GFar0x7mqC
— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) September 19, 2018
Still, even without an official confirmation, the idea that Maroon 5 is the halftime headline (or at the very least, the frontrunner for the job) was enough to get Twitter going. Not surprisingly, the internet had thoughts. And even less surprisingly, that includes a contingency of NFL fans who aren’t particularly pumped about the pairing.
A brief list of musicians more fitting for Atlanta's Super Bowl than Maroon 5 pic.twitter.com/TF8oTEkADa
— Detective Magikarp (@JasonKirkSBN) September 19, 2018
Maroon 5 are performing at a Super Bowl held in Atlanta as punishment for the Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter
— Zito (@_Zeets) September 19, 2018
To be fair, there were definitely plenty of fans who defended the choice and are looking forward to the show.
we're not gonna sit here and act like maroon 5 isn't fire
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) September 19, 2018
Y’all are complaining as if Maroon 5 doesn’t have bops on bops. Yeah they’ve fallen off but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been good enough to give a great halftime show. Y’all just love to complain about everything https://t.co/oOnRFubpLh
— Neche 💅🏾 (@TVHEAUXX) September 19, 2018
*Whispers* I actually like Maroon 5 pic.twitter.com/0YJgRQ5Yve
— Cupine (@MikeSceezie) September 19, 2018
But by far the biggest complaint has to do with the fact that the event takes place in Atlanta, Georgia — aka the capital of rap.
Nothing says Atlanta's rich cultural and musical legacy like Maroon 5. https://t.co/53utmhymxf
— Conor Sen (@conorsen) September 19, 2018
I actually like Maroon 5 but we couldn’t get any hip-hop artists for a Super Bowl in Atlanta? pic.twitter.com/8zSCLn6IiC
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) September 19, 2018
When the NFL picks Maroon 5 to perform at halftime of the Super Bowl.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 19, 2018
having the super bowl in atlanta and getting maroon 5 to perform at halftime is like going to pappadeaux and asking the waiter to bring you some long john silver’s https://t.co/tmtBfkX46C
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) September 19, 2018
Not picked to headline an Atlanta Super Bowl:
Run the Jewels
Ying Yang Twins
Rich Homie Quan
Dem Franchise Boyz
Waka Flocka Flame
Picked to headline an Atlanta Super Bowl:
— Ñic Gulas (@Nic_Gulas) September 19, 2018
Atlanta, home of Outkast, T.I., Future, Ludacris, Usher, etc., gets Maroon 5 to play the damn Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/KHpGNRsJGX
— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) September 19, 2018
With Atlanta’s amazing hip hop and R&B Heritage the NFL goes with Maroon 5 for the Super Bowl halftime show. (Variety reporting). Lame.
— MikeBell929 (@MikeBellATL) September 19, 2018
The Super Bowl is in Atlanta this year, one of the greatest music cities in the world…
And the NFL picks Maroon 5 for the halftime show pic.twitter.com/3r1ce6GVhN
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) September 19, 2018
Twitter’s not wrong on this point. The ATL is home to some of the hottest rap and hip-hop artists today. Which is to say they are some of some of the hottest artists in music today, full stop.
Bringing a more pop band like Maroon 5 in from Los Angeles to do the show is bound to raise some pointed questions about the process the NFL uses to pick performers. With so much talent right there in Atlanta, did they reach out to anyone local?
Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that Maroon 5 routinely collaborates with artists outside their “genre” (although we use that term loosely because their margins are blurry). The two most recent examples to come to mind are their collaboration on “I Like It” with Cardi B and “Don’t Wanna Know” with Kendrick Lamar.
Not to mention we all know how pissed Levine was when he thought the VMAs had snubbed Childish Gambino, whose real-life alter-ego, Donald Glover, grew up just outside Atlanta.
So, while it doesn’t negate the fact that the NFL definitely had tons of Atlanta-connected artists that arguably should have been asked to headline, we’re going to hope for the next best thing — that Maroon 5 will reach out to some of the phenomenal local talent to perform alongside them.