From the moment Maroon 5 was announced as the headliner for the Super Bowl 53 halftime show, everyone had some thoughts. Many felt like the band was a not-powerful-enough choice, and others thought that maybe it was a weak move from the NFL with all of their other surrounding controversy. Either way, Adam Levine took the stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so the question is: how much did Maroon 5 get paid for Super Bowl halftime? Many were surprised to hear that the band isn't taking any compensation, at all.
OK, but to be fair, this isn't something new. While Maroon 5 grosses an average of $1.5 million per show, according to Forbes, they essentially performed at the Super Bowl for free like so many of their predecessors. Their accompanying acts, Travis Scott and Outkasts' Big Boi, also performed without any pay.
Forbes reported that most artists simply perform at the Super Bowl halftime show because they want to. Entertainment attorney Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild told Forbes that the singers and bands who have performed at the Super Bowl "view their live performance as an opportunity to entertain an enthusiastic crowd." Basically? It's just fun. And kind of a free ad for the band who perform.
Money and Maroon 5 have been talked about a lot lately though, but it's not to discuss their salary from this halftime performance. According to E! News, Maroon 5, along with the NFL and Interscope Records, donated $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America just before the Super Bowl.
The move is generous, no doubt, but many think it was done in an effort to ease some of the controversy surrounding the NFL and how they have treated the kneeling players and Colin Kaepernick. According to Forbes, many big names like Cardi B and Rihanna turned down the halftime show, and other artists, like Jay-Z, reportedly tried to talk Travis Scott out of the job as well.
But despite not being paid — which, again, is the norm — many expected some surprises and fun from Maroon 5 during the halftime show. When it was announced that they would be performing, everyone was a little wary — it's not like Maroon 5 is known for controversy and they also aren't Beyoncé — but Twitter had its fingers crossed that the show would make up for the pretty boring first half of the game. By halftime, the Rams and Patriots had been so dull, the commercials and concert were our only hope for entertainment.
I was seriously hoping I'd just get to hear "Moves Like Jagger" and see an Outkast reunion happening with Big Boi and Andre 3000. (Surely he could have hopped in to save the day, right?) But thanks to that generous donation, a lot of people were hoping that Big Boi, Travis Scott, and Maroon 5 would make a big statement with their performance. Maybe a nod to Kaepernick? Maybe a big "hey, we see you" to Donald Trump?