Super Bowl LI’s top-billed musical performers, pop music icon Lady Gaga and country music star Luke Bryan, fielded a variety of questions Thursday at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Gaga will be performing in the halftime show and compared getting ready for that event to the meticulous preparations of the players who will be competing in the big game itself.
She said that for two months her and her dancers have been working to create the halftime show’s story and musical score, planning dance and pyrotechnic choreography, creating the sets for the stage and going through additional training for the approximately 13-minute performance.
“What I would say is that what you’re watching at the halftime show, it’s not easy,” Gaga said. “And I say that because I want young people at home when they’re watching, when they see it, (to know) if you have a dream to be something big, you should go for it, but you have to give everything you’ve got. You’ve got to wake up, and you’ve got to eat it, breathe it, see it, every second of the day. And if you do that, you might be lucky enough to wake up and be playing the halftime show.”
Gaga was mum on the details of the show, although she did confirm there will be no meat dress nor will there be a repeat of the “wardrobe malfunction” that occurred during the halftime show of the last Super Bowl to come to Houston. She called it a “tremendously athletic show” that she hopes will match the intensity of the game.
She also didn’t confirm or deny whether she would use her halftime performance platform to make a political statement of any kind.
“The only statements that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I have been consistently making throughout my career,” Gaga said. “I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and that the spirit of this country is one of love and compassion and kindness. So, my performance will uphold those philosophies.”
Bryan, who will sing the national anthem (and will be the first man to do so since Billy Joel in 2007), said he has studied past Super Bowl national anthem performances, but said he plans to put his own touch on the “Star Spangled Banner” in his rendition.
“Last year, (Gaga) put her stamp on it, which was amazing,” Bryan said. “It’s a big moment for me, and I’m excited to get out there and hopefully put my stamp on it.”
Traditionally, one of the most popular prop bets heading into the game is on the length of the national anthem, but Bryan couldn’t offer a prediction for how long his solo performance will go.
“I may get out there and go, ‘I’m about to pass out, I need to get this over quick,’ or I may get out there and really, really feel good in the moment and try to milk it a little bit.”