People have been talking about the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show for weeks, ever since people wondered how Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi would be able to pull off a show that, quite frankly, people would want to watch. Luckily, the artists came prepared, as evidenced by the gospel choir at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show that essentially upstaged the main acts.
The show started off with Maroon 5 performing classic tracks off of Songs of Jane, starting with "Harder To Breathe" and going into "This Love." Then, Travis Scott made a (literally) fire entrance and performed for a little while with Adam Levine front and center. And then a marching band and a gospel choir came on stage to help Maroon 5 out with their 2018 single, "Girls Like You." On Twitter, people were divided about how they felt about this move. Some tweeted that they could watch the gospel choir all night, and to be honest, same. They killed it and definitely lended their energy to the performance.
Some People Enjoyed It
But many more people on social media were upset to see that Levine performed onstage in front of a gospel choir, especially considering the recent controversy surrounding this Super Bowl.
Given the NFL's response to the protests against police brutality, led by Colin Kaepernick, many artists, including Cardi B and Rihanna, reportedly turned down offers to perform at this year's game. When they signed on to do the game, Maroon 5, along with Travis Scott and Big Boi, faced some backlash from fans, as reported by USA Today. In response, Scott and the NFL donated $500,000 to a charity called Dream Corps and Maroon 5 is donating another $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, according to Variety. Maroon 5 canceled a press conference ahead of the game, which many people believed to be a way for them to avoid answering questions about the protests and their choice to perform.
Levine told Entertainment Tonight that he believed that underrepresented voices would "be heard," during the halftime show. "That's all I want to say because I don't want to spoil anything. We are going to do what we keep on doing, hopefully without becoming politicians and continuing to use the one voice we know how to use properly." That apparently meant singing in front of a gospel choir, which came off as offensive and appropriative to some people on Twitter during the performance.
Actually, A Lot Of People Felt That Way
While it was a great choice to include Atlanta-based rapper Big Boi in the show (the game was played in Atlanta) and have the marching band and gospel choir there, people on Twitter pointed out that it came off as disingenuous — especially since Levine was still front and center the whole time. Plus, there was no mention of the name of the choir or marching band when they came out, by him or the broadcasters or even shown on the LED display boards.
Twitter has made it clear how people felt about the choir, and the way they were up on the stage with Levine during the halftime performance. Even though the choir was objectively amazing, the problems with their portrayal did not go unnoticed by those watching.