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It has just been announced that Madonna might be gearing up to take the stage at the Super Bowl on February 5th in Indianapolis. It would be the first time the Material Girl-turned-moviemaker performs at the iconic event and while conservative audiences will cringe at the rumors, music fans are already fantasizing about costumes, set-lists and a much-expected dose of controversy.
What other event draws such massive viewership and so many multi-million commercial deals? At last year’s edition, a whopping number of 111 million people tuned in to watch the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburg Steelers duke it out on the field. Singing the anthem or delivering a jaw-dropping halftime show are two of the most wanted gigs in the performance industry.
Every move and note are analyzed bare by a diverse audience, delivering post-event rants crammed with sassy critics that will tear anyone apart with a sleazy touch. At the Super Bowl you’re never good enough. Next year all eyes could be on the 52-year-old songstress and her creative crew. Could this be Madonna’s reconciliation with America’s mainstream public?
Madonna is a clear example of the American dream, a poor girl from the Midwest arrives in NYC with a few bucks in her pocket and two years later she’s the biggest star on the planet. But that didn’t stop her from reflecting on the traditional American values in her 2003 album ‘American Life’, her lowest-selling record to date and a turning point in her career.
Ever since she mocked former president George W. Bush in a war-themed video, an obvious anti-Bush statement that was later withdrawn by Madonna herself on her team’s advice, her album sales in the US have shrunk to minimal numbers. None of her albums released after ‘American Life’ have shifted more than 1.7 million copies. On the contrary, tickets for her latest tour sold out in minutes, making her the highest earning female performer.
In 2004, Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction marked a new era in live TV. Producers and organizers, dreading a scandalous follow-up, started booking rock&roll acts such as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.
But last year the record-breaking show welcomed The Black Eyed Peas, a more contemporary act that was joined onstage by Usher and Slash. Grammy winning pop diva Christina Aguilera also took the center stage to belt out the Star Spangled Banner. Clad in black tones and sporting her signatures peep-toes, the singer flubbed the lyrics and embarrassed herself in front of her country.
She later apologized stating she got stuck in the moment, a high-profile mess-up that might introduce a teleprompter policy from next year on. With that much pressure on her plate, will Madonna channel her ‘Holiday’ era and portray a dancehall Goddess or will she vogue the night away with tons of French-kissing, cone-bras and naughty words?
And though Madonna is both of those performances, the latter will probably not be allowed onstage as there will certainly be a highly prearranged contract that will keep whoever is going to entertain the viewers on their toes.
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