Apple Music is officially the new partner for the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The NFL announced the new multi-year partnership on Friday as Apple Music prepares to take over after Pepsi pulled out of its partnership with the league.
“We are proud to welcome Apple Music to the NFL family as our new partner for the iconic Super Bowl Halftime Show,” Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of Partner Strategy for the NFL, said in a media release. “We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner for the world’s most-watched musical performance than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires, and motivates millions of people around the world through the intersection of music and technology.”
Apple Music boasts one of the largest online music catalogs, featuring over 90 million songs from numerous musicians, songwriters and producers. Apple made its mark in the music industry with the iPod and iTunes before developing an award-winning streaming service with Apple Music.
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Apple To Sponsor NFL Halftime Show
The first Super Bowl Halftime Show to feature the Apple Music sponsorship will be Super Bowl LVII, which will take place on Feb. 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
In the leadup to the game, fans can expect to see exclusive details and sneak peeks about the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show by following @AppleMusicon TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of music and football’s biggest stage,” Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in a media release. “We’re looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
Over 120 million viewers watched the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, which included performances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show earned three Creative Emmy Awards.
Other past performers include The Weekend, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince and Madonna.
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Who Will Headline the Halftime Show?
It didn’t take long for the first rumor to start about who could end up performing at the first Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. TMZ started to hypothesize that the new sponsorship deal could clear the way for Taylor Swift to finally perform at the Super Bowl.
According to the site, some believed Swift wouldn’t perform at the Super Bowl since she has a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola, which is Pepsi’s biggest rival. But now that Pepsi is no longer the sponsor for the halftime show, it could allow her to perform at the Super Bowl.
The other theory from TMZ isn’t nearly as strong. Since Swift has historically released music at midnight and the NFL’s announcement came at midnight, Swift’s fans theorized it must be a hint she could be the big game’s performer at halftime. I sure hope they stretched well before reaching for something like that.
But perhaps the biggest sign Swift could be the Super Bowl halftime performer comes from Variety. The outlet is reporting that three sources close to the Super Bowl halftime show are telling Variety that Swift will be the halftime performer at Super Bowl LVII.
Regardless of the theories being thrown out there already, Swift would make sense as the first Apple Music Super Bowl halftime performer. She has name recognition, plenty of radio hits casual fans would be familiar with and would be the pop-friendly type that has recently performed at the Super Bowl, such as Beyonce, Shakira, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
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Drake’s Take Care album came out in 2011, and since then, he’s maintained his level at the top as one of the biggest music artists in the world. It’s an impressive feat considering how difficult it can be for hip-hop artists to stay relevant in the mainstream for that long. He also has the hits catalog to be a contender for the halftime show, and hip hop is the other genre besides pop that usually gets the nod for the Super Bowl.
Similar to Swift, Grande is one of the biggest music artists out there right now. She has numerous pop hits and would be a massive draw.
Rihanna turned down the opportunity to perform in the 2019 Super Bowl, citing her issues with how the NFL handled the Colin Kaepernick situation. Maroon 5 ended up headlining instead. If her view has changed about the league, she could be a contender to headline in 2023.
Apple Music Debuts New Playlists to Celebrate Announcement
To commemorate news of its new partnership with the NFL, Apple Music has added new football-themed playlists to its browse section on Apple Music.
There is the playlist called “Halftime Headliners,” which features hits from previous Super Bowl halftime performers.
Apple also has a new playlist called “Stadium Anthems,” featuring songs that can normally be heard at games such as “Power” by Kanye West and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes.
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