Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lady Gaga says her Super Bowl halftime show is 'for everyone'

Lady Gaga's halftime performance at Super Bowl LI is over three days away and she was a bit subdued and thoroughly professional as she took over the media room during a news conference Thursday in Houston.

Because these news conferences are what they are, Fox's Terry Bradshaw asked a lengthy question and Gaga admitted that her family of Pittsburgh Steelers fans was freaking out that he was asking a question. Told that her grandmother was especially excited back home, Bradshaw asked, "Is she a single lady?"

The questions turned serious when she was asked if she might make a political statement. Last year's Super Bowl halftime show incited controversy when many viewers perceived Beyonce's performance to be anti-police.

"This performance is for everyone," she said. "I want to, more than anything, create a moment that everyone that's watching will never forget."

This year's championship game comes at time of division in the country, with several large-scale protests around the country targeting new President Donald Trump or his policies.

"I don't know if I will succeed in unifying America. You'll have to ask America when it's over. The only statements that I'll be making are the ones that I have been consistently making throughout my career," she said. "I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country is one of love and compassion and kindness. My performance uphold those philosophies."

Gaga wouldn't reveal what songs she would sing, how many costumes she'll wear or any staging details, but promised a "tremendously athletic" show and no reappearance of her infamous meat dress.

She also said there wouldn't be any wardrobe malfunctions — like Janet Jackson's infamous moment at the last Super Bowl held in Houston in 2004.

"Everything is going to be nice and tight," Gaga said. "I wouldn't worry about that."

Gaga has hinted that her sister wants her to perform suspended from the roof, which is 265 feet above the NRG Stadium field, but, just as she was earlier in the week, she would not commit to that during her 13-minute performance Sunday night.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles asked about that Thursday and offered pointers — if Gaga tries the stunt.

When Gaga debuted in 2008, her sound was a mix of electronic, dance and pop sounds, including the hits Poker Face and Just Dance. Her latest album though, Joanne, delves into country and acoustic rock territory, and she said she plans to perform songs from her entire catalog.

The 30-year-old singer was nominated for the best original song Oscar last year and won a Golden Globe for her role on the FX series American Horror Story. Gaga said she considers being asked to be the halftime headliner is due to her fans, affectionately known as "little monsters."

"Essentially, that kid that couldn't get a seat at the cool kids table and that kid who was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn't accept him for who he was? That kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes," she said. "And I'm excited to give it to them."

The performance at the NRG Stadium will also feature Tony Bennett, who Gaga called a "tremendously wise man." Gaga and Bennett recorded the 2014 album of duets, Cheek to Cheek, which won a Grammy — the sixth for Gaga. They also launched a successful tour.

The showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons airs Sunday on Fox. Despite her family connection to the Pittsburgh, she wouldn't reveal whom she's rooting for. "I'm going to keep that one to myself," she said.

In addition to Gaga, three original cast members of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Hamilton will sing America the Beautiful during pregame festivities and Luke Bryan will perform the national anthem.

Bryant will be following in Lady Gaga's footsteps there; she delivered a powerful performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl 50. Bryan says he has already been peppered with questions about how long the song will go. That was a genuine gambling controversy last year, much to Bryan's amusement.

"A friend called me up and said, 'Hey, buddy. Are you going long?' Just say 'long' if you are."

Information from the Washington Post and Associated Press was used in this report.

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