Will Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time show get political? ‘I believe in inclusion’

The Super Bowl performer revealed little of her plans for the half-time concert but hinted it would include support for the principles of equality and tolerance

Amid inquiries about costume changes, special guests and her setlist during a press conference on Thursday, Lady Gaga was posed a question that has intrigued elements of the media before Super Bowl 51 almost as much as the game itself: whether her half-time concert on Sunday will feature a critique of Donald Trump.

The singer revealed little of her plans for the 13-minute concert but indicated that it would include support for the principles of equality and tolerance, rather than barbs directly targeting the occupant of the White House.

The only statements that Ill be making during the half-time show are the ones that I have been consistently making during my career. I believe in a passion for inclusion, I believe in the spirit of equality, Gaga said, adding that she feels that Americas essence is love and kindness and my performance will uphold those philosophies.

Gaga was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton during the campaign, speaking and singing at the Democratic candidates final rally on the eve of the election. In the hours after Trumps victory she was pictured standing on a sanitation truck outside Trump Tower in New York holding a sign that read Love trumps hate.

In January the NFL denied that it would gag Gaga from making political statements during her show. There is speculation that Beyonc, who was born in Houston, will make a guest appearance. At last years Super Bowl she performed Formation, a song with a video that critiques police brutality, and her dancers wore Black Panther-esque berets and posed with raised fists. Also last year, during the half-time show at Levis Stadium near San Francisco, Coldplays set paid tribute to marriage equality.


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Since Janet Jacksons wardrobe malfunction in Houston in 2004, the NFL has been especially sensitive to controversy during Super Bowl concerts. The league demanded more than $16m in restitution from the rapper MIA. for a middle-finger gesture during her half-time show appearance in 2012. The parties reached a settlement in 2014.

Asked about Jackson, Gaga said: Everythings going to be nice and tight for the game, I wouldnt worry about that unfortunately. There would be no meat dress, she added.

The New England Patriots face the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Houston. Football fans mingled with anti-Trump demonstrators by a fan festival in the citys downtown last Sunday, while politics in the NFL has been a hot topic since last summer, when the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, refused to stand for the national anthem in protest at police violence.

During the campaign, and on the eve of his inauguration, Trump referenced his friendships with Tom Brady, the Patriots star quarterback, Bill Belichick, the coach, and Robert Kraft, the owner. Just before the election last November, Belichick wrote Trump a letter wishing him luck, which Trump read aloud during a rally.

Brady was spotted with a Make America Great Again cap in his locker in 2015. He declined to discuss his relationship with Trump or give an opinion on last Fridays executive order on travel during a media event on Monday, saying he was just a positive person who wanted the best for everybody.

As Variety reported, one of the Super Bowl commercials set to garner the most attention is a spot for Budweiser which tells the story of the brewers founder, a German immigrant. In the commercial, soon after stepping off a boat and passing through immigration he is subjected to comments including Go back home and Youre not wanted here.

Marcel Marcondes, Anheuser-Buschs vice-president of marketing, said in a statement that the commercial had been in the works for almost a year. We believe beer should be bipartisan, and did not set out to create a piece of political commentary; however we recognize that you cant reference the American Dream today without being part of the conversation, he has previously said.

A television interview with Trump conducted by Bill OReilly, the Fox News presenter, will air in the hours before the game.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/02/lady-gaga-super-bowl-halftime-show-trump

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